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Facebook’s Live tool is amazing, but while you are able to stream live content in a click of a button using your mobile device, streaming content from a computer is still very difficult. The very few options are either very expensive (Wirecast. Livestream) or very complicated for the non-tech end user (OBS), and sometimes even both.
>> Check out my latest post on ‘How to connect a pro camera to your computer‘ for a professional Facebook Live stream <<
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While Facebook keeps promising new features but rolls it first to celebrities and verified pages, some companies are already building their own Facebook Live tools and features. One of those companies is Israeli BeLive.
BeLive is the 2nd product coming from the duo behind the company. Their 1st product, called AweVid, gave people the ability to stream an event from multiple cellular phones while a “Director” from home managed the live feed people saw live from the event. While trending in sport events, riots and live news events, the founders realised they need to be on a platform where their audience is spending most of his time- Facebook.
“Over time, we saw that Facebook became a major player in the live streaming scene and has what a young startup doesn’t have- Users. We than decided to pivot our product and rely on Facebook’s user base, giving their users the power of our tools. We now enable regular (non-verified) users to use the newest Facebook Live features, including some that are yet to be developed by Facebook, while still engaging with their friends and followers on Facebook”, says Tzafrir Rehan, Belive’s CTO.
So, whats BeLive’s platform?
First and foremost- it’s still free (While in Beta). BeLive’s cloud platform simplifies the process of streaming on Facebook Live from your computer, dekstop or laptop. With BeLive you can connect almost every camera to your computer (as long as its connected as a webcam) and make the complicated and expensive software, useless. With BeLive’s tool you can actually host a very professional looking Q&A session and make the questions float on the stream so everyone can see who you are talking to and what’s the context of your answer. You can send on-screen updates to all the current viewers, you can select whether to broadcast from your page, personal profile, group your are an admin of, or even you Faecbook event. That’s something that Facebook’s mobile app still failed to provide.
BeLive’s next tool, currently in closed Beta, is the interview mode recently announced by Facebook and rolled out to verified pages in the US only. But while Facebook features the interviewee in a small cornered window, BeLive’s tool allows a split screen where both get the same window size, while only the host controls the broadcast.
[Update 11/29/2016]: The Interview Mode is now public and free, no need for a verified account, read the guide here.
How to stream to Facebook Live from a computer?
First, BeLive’s platform only works with Google Chrome. Click this link and log in with your Facebook account. Create a new broadcast and fill in the details in the window. Use a real email, the platform will send you a link to your broadcast in case you want to go live in a later stage and want everything to be ready in advance (see left photo below)
Second, click the Connect With Facebook button so BeLive can get access to the pages and groups you admin. After that you will be asked to select the destination of your live stream (see right photo). There is also a Testing Only option, in case you are afraid of going live accidentally, so it only gives you the management panel without the ability to stream to Facebook.
Third, after you approved all the above, you reach your control panel, where you manage your broadcast and moderate the comments. Once you click the Join Broadcast button, you will finally see yourself on the screen. This is only a preview of how you look, you are still not live on Facebook. This is also the stage to select your camera and mic (search for the video camera icon in Chrome’s address bar). To go live on Facebook click the Start Facebook Live Broadcast button on the right. The small window on the right is your stream’s preview, where you see what your users actually see on their side.
Below your preview screen you have the On-Screen Update line- this is where you send on-screen updates to your audience in real time, the update last 5 seconds and supports multi lingual text.
Now, you can finally start the interesting part- on the bottom-left corner you will start seeing the comments left by viewers after you go live. Next to each comment you have a Show button. Clicking this button will float the comment along with the name and profile photo of the user’s profile on the screen. It will remain in-screen until you click the Show button on another comment or click the Hide button on the same comment. New comments will float on your big screen so you don’t miss them while talking, but only you can see them.
This entire process should take you 10-15 minutes on your first attempt and 5 minutes once you do it on the 2nd time. From my experience, the engagement rate is sky rocketing when you feature people on the screen instead of giving them shoutouts and reading their question, people enjoy seeing their profile photo on the screen and will likely comment again.
Please make sure to read my Facebook Live Tips and Tricks article before going live.
Have any questions? Feel free to contact me, always happy to help others.