How does the Facebook algorithm treat Facebook live video?

Facebook considers Live video a distinct content type from other videos shared on the platform.

This distinction is important for brands because it means that the Facebook algorithm treats native video and Live video differently, with Live videos more likely to appear higher in News Feed while they’re live. Live video is identified with a red Live icon in the top left-hand corner of the video.

After the broadcast, the video can still be discovered and viewed, but once it’s no longer live, Facebook will treat it like any other video. However, keep in mind that the algorithm favors content that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

Live videos typically see six times more interactions than other videos. These higher engagement rates could be a good signal to the algorithm.

Facebook Live video also has its own notification system. When a person or Page starts a Facebook Live feed, people they frequently engage with or have recently interacted with may get a notification. Viewers can choose to subscribe, which means they’ll be notified any time that broadcaster goes Live.

Where do Live videos appear on Facebook?

Live videos appear in viewers’ newsfeeds and on the page or profile of the person recording the video.

When the broadcast is over, the video will appear on your page or profile, just like a regular video, unless you have set it to broadcast only to stories.

People who engage with you often by liking or commenting on your content may receive a notification when you go live.

How long can you record live on Facebook?

Facebook Live videos can be up to eight hours long if you’re recording on desktop or four hours long on mobile.

You can choose a continuous feed through one of the publishing tools described at the end of this post that an offer a continuous 24-hour freed.

Do I have to broadcast from a mobile device?

No. You can also broadcast directly from your laptop or desktop computer. When you’re first getting started with Live video, broadcasting from your mobile device or computer is the easiest option and requires no special skills or equipment.

Can I use professional video equipment with Facebook Live?

Yes. Once you’re confident with your live video skills, or if you have a tech team to help you, there are options that allow you to use more professional equipment.

You can also use these methods to schedule Live broadcasts up to a week in advance in order to build up an audience before you begin streaming. When you schedule a Live video, an announcement will be posted to News Feed letting your fans know the broadcast is coming.

Users who see the post can choose to receive a notification that will remind them shortly before the broadcast begins. Fans can then join a pre-broadcast lobby where they can connect and interact with other viewers before the Live video starts. You’ll also get a link you can share or embed on your website.

Finally, using these methods, it’s possible to broadcast continuous live video. This offers a great option for users who may want to showcase a constant Live feed, such as a museum or zoo.

1. Facebook Live API (Pages only)

The Facebook Live API allows broadcasters to “seamlessly incorporate Live into their existing broadcast setup.” This enables features like camera switching, instant replay, on-screen graphics, and special effects.

The API requires developer skills. To get started, follow the steps in Facebook’s Quick Start Guide to streaming Live Video with the Graph API. Note that Facebook recommends a wired Internet connection (as opposed to wifi) for this broadcast option.

2. Live Video publishing tool for Pages (Pages only)

To use this option, you’ll need tools (software or hardware) that support RTMP or RTMPS, such as Livestream or Wirecast. (If you’re not sure what this means, it’s a good idea to stick to broadcasting from your mobile device or bring in a tech helper to handle the details.) Once you have the tools in place, here’s how to start your live video:

  1. On your Page, go to Publishing Tools.
  2. Under Videos, select Video Library and then +Live.
  3. Click Connect to connect your software, then go to Post.
  4. Target your audience and add your description.
  5. Add a title and tags for your video.
  6. Add your stream credentials, such as stream key and server URL.
  7. Copy and paste the server URL and stream key into your software.
  8. Click Go Live to begin your video right away, or Schedule to set your video up for a future date (up to one week in advance).

3. Go live with professional equipment from your news feed (profiles, Pages, groups, and events)

This tool is basically the same as the Live Video publishing tool for Pages, but is available to profiles, groups, and events as well.

  1. From the Create post box on your news feed, click Live or Live Video.
  2. Click Connect to connect your software.
  3. Choose where your video will appear and add your description.
  4. Add a title for your video.
  5. Copy and paste the server URL and stream key into your software.

Click Go Live to begin your video right away, or Schedule to set your video up for a future date (up to one week in advance).