Four “highly requested” features were added for Facebook Live, but they are only available to pages, and not individual users.
Facebook Live videos can now be broadcast only to page administrators and editors, providing the opportunity for a rehearsal, where elements including production setups, interactive features and show formats can be tested.
This rehearsal option can be accessed via the Facebook Live API (application-programming interface).
A new trimming feature enables publishers to trim the beginning and end of live videos. Connolly and Birkeland noted that publishers often start livestreams before the action begins, and that stand-by time can make the first few seconds of recorded videos less engaging.
Publishers can now specify exactly when they want the video to begin or end.
The maximum duration of Facebook Live videos was doubled to eight hours from four hours when broadcasting via the Facebook Live API.
Connolly and Birkeland wrote, “We know that some publishers require longer broadcasting times to accommodate things like sporting events, news days and gaming broadcasts, so this update will enable them to capture the full length of these events. For example, NASA used this new capability to broadcast an eight-hour spacewalk.”
Publishers can now use applications that broadcast simultaneously to more than one online streaming service via the Facebook Live API.
Facebook Live was also recently rolled out to slimmed-down analog app Facebook Lite, opening up the feature to people with weaker internet connections or older devices.
Four new updates were also introduced for Watch Party, which enables people to simultaneously view videos and interact with each other.
Pages can now schedule Watch Parties in advance to help build anticipation. Announcement posts are created, and people can opt to receive notifications when Watch Parties begin.
Replays of Watch Parties were added so that people can experience them after they air, with the goal of opening them up to wider audiences.
Two new metrics were added for Watch Parties in Creator Studio, Facebook’s one-stop shop for creators and publishers to post, manage, monetize and track their content across pages and Instagram.
Minutes Viewed shows the total amount of watch time accrued during a Watch Party, while Unique 60s Viewers provides a total of unique users who watched at least 60 seconds during a Watch Party.
Pages can now tag their business partners in branded content Watch Parties so that those partners can also see insights on the event’s performance.
And live commentating was rolled out for pages globally. With this feature, hosts can go Live within Watch Parties and share commentary while the videos play.
Finally, four updates were introduced for Creator Studio.
Page admins will soon gain access to a new visualization in loyalty insights, giving them information on which videos are driving returning viewers to their pages. They previously could only see returning viewers to pages in aggregate. This update will roll out in the coming months.
A new distribution metric will assign a score to each video’s performance based on the page’s historic averages on a range of metrics that drive distribution, including one-minute views, average minutes watched and retention.
Hovering over that score will bring up a pop-up window with more context on the video’s score and performance. This feature will also roll out in the coming months.
Facebook is now supporting 13 new languages for auto-captioning: Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, Italian, Malay, Russian, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Auto-captioning had previously been available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.