By Evan DeSimone
Facebook is slowly moving closer to rolling out Facebook Live, it’s nascent live streaming tool, to a wider audience, as TechCrunch first reported today.
Facebook Live was recently introduced with an elite pool of celebrities that included notables such as Serena Williams, Martha Stewart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but the platform will soon be making the feature available to users with verified accounts. While that’s still a relatively rarified pool, it’s considerably wider than the small roster of select stars who were chosen to pilot the new feature. While many verified accounts belong to actors and celebrities, their ranks also include business leaders, journalists, politicians and other public figures of less than super-star status.
At this point, there’s no word on when Facebook Live might become available to the general public, but this latest development is step toward wider availability. Unlike its competitors in the space such as upstart apps Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook can offer the average user more value in live streaming because, while other apps require users to build a following or recruit an audience from another social platform, most users have a built-in audience on Facebook that will make live streaming more engaging civilians.
Facebook’s live streams will also be archived permanently, unlike other apps that either don’t retain footage at all or save it only for a fixed amount of time. That means every new live stream is another piece of fresh content added to Facebook’s growing video library that the social giant can advertise against.