Plebeians, step aside: Facebook has unveiled a Meerkat and Periscope competitor designed exclusively for celebrities. The new live-streaming platform, aptly called “Live”, allows public figures–or “influencers” as the social network dubs them–to stream video to their Facebook followers in real time.
“With Live, public figures can take fans behind the scenes, host a Q&A, share announcements, and more—all in real time,” Facebook product manager Vadim Lavrusik wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. A Facebook representative added, in an email to Fast Company, that “Live is an immersive and authentic way for public figures to connect with their fans on Facebook.”
The product launch seems intended to keep high-profile figures within Facebook’s ecosystem, rather than sending them to Twitter-owned streaming service Periscope. Live comes at a time when Meerkat, which introduced Facebook support in May, has become increasingly reliant on the social network.
Live for Facebook piggybacks on Facebook Mentions, an exclusive app offered up to celebrities and their management teams to handle public interactions. The lucky few who have access to Facebook Mentions can save their streams for posterity, unlike with Meerkat or Periscope; the videos are automatically saved to their Page unless they manually delete it.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, and Martha Stewart are just a few of the celebrities scheduled to release Live videos in the coming days.