FB launches featured links for live-streams

Last week, Facebook announced their latest developments which will assist creators using their platform to maximise the benefit of their content.

One of the main features they unveiled relates to Facebook Live, providing users with a more easy-to-use interface and some tools to make sharing with audiences more streamlined than ever before.

This updated interface makes live-streaming even more user-friendly for content creators and will allow users to maximise the results they can get from interactions with their audience. This is a great move from Facebook, who are clearly observing the increase in the past two years of people using video to connect on a personal and business level and they are making this as accessible as possible for users.

What new features are there?

As a new feature for audiences, Facebook is introducing live-stream notifications to Facebook Stories to help to highlight streams in progress and increase the discovery of live broadcasts. 

For creators, one of the most important announcements was ‘Featured Links’ which will allow content creators to share multiple third-party links within their live-streams. This means that they can now easily create direct traffic from live streams and in turn this increases the option to monetise and create value from each stream.There is also the addition of new badges to help creators identify their top fans in the comments.

Facebook will also introduce the facility to create a live-stream poll on mobile (which was previously only possible on desktop), providing another useful and accessible option in order to build a relationship and engage viewers and increase ways to have a crucial two-way interaction between creator and audience. The ability to invite up to three guests into the livestream will also be possible which will further diversify content on the platform.

Creators will soon be able to respond to engagement directly from notifications making having conversations more efficient. Comment ranking has been reviewed and improvements are being implemented to aid creators in identifying the most relevant conversations and visibility of spammy and repetitive comments will be reduced. Comments from the creator will be prioritised at the top of the discussion thread. This will also highlight to fans other conversations that they can be part of, which further extends the reach of any engagement.

Perhaps one of the most unique features being implemented is the ‘Front Row’ where Facebook identifies your top viewers who will then earn a spot for devoted viewing of your live videos. Creators can use this as a tool to build engagement by reminding their audience to stay engaged with their videos and future streams in order to be selected for one of the top spots.

Lastly, there’s been confirmation of ‘Spotlight Conversations’ which the platform began testing in October.

This format hosts two comment tabs. One for those invited as guests and one for general comments. People are able to follow the discussion you’re having with your chosen guests and comment elsewhere which keeps the main conversation focussed and easy to follow. This provides a fantastic interview format that also allows for audience engagement.

What do these changes mean for Facebook and creators?

There’s no question about the fact that there are a wide range of beneficial tools being implemented for creators on the platform to take advantage of and up their game and it’s obvious that Facebook are trying to win back audience share from the likes of TikTok and Snapchat. But, only time will tell if the top creators will be won back by developments like these or if audiences will stay put and creators won’t take the risk.