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Facebook Adds New Live Features To Keep You Closer To Your Friends

Facebook’s new Live features include a friends-only comment section and the ability to co-host a live broadcast.

Since launching in 2015, Facebook Live has been a huge focus for the social network. Originally just a live-streaming option for celebrities and special events, the service became available for everyone in April of last year, prompting an influx of live streams from regular people featuring everything from important breaking news events and documentation of social injustice to concerts and interactive interviews with A-listers. Facebook says that people comment 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than they do on videos that are just posted to the platform. Today it unveiled a few new ways for you to interact with your friends while you’re watching or broadcasting a Live video: Live Chat With Friends and Live With.

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Live With

Live With is a feature you may have already seen being used by some celebrities on Facebook. Available to all profiles and Pages on iOS starting today, Live With allows you to have a guest appear along with you in a video side by side, or in a picture-in-picture-type smaller screen similar to what you might see when placing a video call. So, you could host a show with a friend who’s across the country, or just include a friend to briefly comment on something you happen to be talking about.

Live Chat With Friends

When Live videos are streamed by news agencies covering a big event or celebrities with a huge following, sometimes you want to discuss what’s happening in the video with just your friends rather than everyone tuned into the stream.

Now, using Live Chat With Friends, you’ll be able to invite friends to join you in a private conversation about a Live broadcast that’s taking place. Invites can be sent to those you know who are already turned in, as well as any other friends you think would enjoy watching. You can jump back and forth between the public conversation and your private one throughout the broadcast, and continue the conversation with your friends after the broadcaster has decided to stop streaming.

Unfortunately, this one won’t be available to everyone just yet. Facebook says it’s testing the feature out via mobile in several countries right now, with the plan to roll it out to everyone later this summer.

If you’d like to try out Live With, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to get started on Facebook’s website here.

About the author

Emily is a journalist based in San Francisco.

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