Facebook is expanding its “Live Video” service, which lets users stream what they are doing in real-time, to everyone in the United States, according to a company blog post.
The new service is built into the Facebook app and appears next to the options to add a photo, video, tag a person, or add an emotion to a status.
When pressed, the stream goes live and friends are alerted to the live video, which they can then watch, like, and comment on.
Twitter also has a similar service, called Periscope, which it acquired for around $50 million (£34 million) last year. Twitter recently integrated Periscope streams into the main app, bringing live video streaming front-and-centre for the social network.
Facebook’s Live Video steam is available to friends and followers. News organisations can broadcast to fans and followers in real-time, with a notification being sent to users when the stream goes live. The Verge, a technology blog, has been testing the feature extensively, for example.
Periscope had around 10 million users, as of late 2015, and the integration into Twitter, along with a heavy focus on the service, has likely pushed that number higher.
However, Facebook has a long history of releasing apps before shutting them down a few months later. Paper, a new take on news reading, was a Facebook-made app that launched in February 2014 and now lays dormant, having not received an update since March 2015.