Further flexing its live video muscles, Facebook plans to prominently place a video tab right in its Messenger app.
“With Facebook Live you can use your phone to share a moment instantly,” Fidji Simo, product management director, notes in a new blog post.
Facebook is also rolling out a number of new video-based features, including Video for Groups and Events, with which users can more easily share live video with particular friends and family. Along with the new video tab in Messenger, “These features will be rolling out on iOS and Android over the coming weeks,” a Facebook spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Facing off against Snapchat, Twitter’s Periscope and other streaming services, Facebook has recently been going crazy for live video. The social giant recently tweaked its algorithm so that Facebook Live videos would appear more prominently in users’ News Feeds.
Upon the announcement, Vibhi Kant, a product manager at Facebook, said he expected the change to produce more active engagement among Facebook's roughly 1.5 billion monthly active users.
“People spend more than (three times) more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live,” according to Kant.
Facebook only began testing live video-streaming late last year. Then, in January, it expanded the ability to share live video to iPhone users in more than 30 countries. Just last week, all domestic Android users were invited to join the live-streaming party, while Facebook announced plans to bring in Android users around the world.
Driven by video and mobile, Facebook is now on track to rake in roughly $12.14 billion in U.S. digital ad revenues by 2017, according to a recently revised forecast from eMarketer.
While the researcher expects Google to remain the leader in mobile through 2017, Facebook’s share is growing at a higher rate, and the gap is expected to narrow slightly over the next several years.