Facebook Live Streaming Begins Rollout to General Public

Look out Meerkat and Periscope, grandma’s got a new place to boast about her mad scrapbooking skills! Facebook announced today that it is rolling out live video sharing for the general public, starting with a small percentage of iPhone users in the U.S.

The feature, dubbed Facebook Live, was introduced in August by a collection of celebrity users that included Serena Williams, Martha Stewart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and it was later made available to the verified accounts of public figures, media companies and brands.

Now, select everyday Facebookers with iPhones can broadcast live by tapping on Update Status and then selecting the Live Video icon. They can then write a short description and choose the audience they wish to share with before going live. During broadcasts, Facebook will display the number of live viewers, the names of friends tuning in, and a real-time stream of comments. When a broadcast ends, it will be saved on the user’s timeline.

Facebook users can discover live videos from friends and public figures they follow in their news feeds, and they can tap the subscribe button while a live video is playing to be notified the next time the broadcaster goes live.