Facebook thinks live video streaming is going to be a big part of its future. But the first taste many users got of its new livestreaming feature, starring none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself, was far from the impressive public demo the company was hoping. 

Public figures on Facebook have had access to livestreaming tools since last summer. In a blog post Wednesday morning, the company announced that users would have the option of livestreaming through Facebook groups and Facebook events, plus new features like "Live Reactions," which allow viewers to send Facebook reactions (like, love, wow, etc.) to appear on the livestreaming video in real time. To punctuate the news, Zuckerberg was scheduled to appear in a livestream on his personal page at 10:30 a.m.

According to conversation on Twitter, when people tuned in Zuckerberg appeared in the stream, told viewers to hold on, then disappeared and the stream went dead. 

 

 

 

When Zuckerberg ultimately went live at about 11:30 a.m., he explained Facebook had paused the stream in order to relocate to the "live video launch room." His explanation indicated the live stream interruption was not due to a technical difficulty, but that doesn't rule out glitches as the cause of at least one other interruption.  

Inc. was unable to view Zuckerberg's Facebook page over a desktop web browser for a period after the stream interruption, though his profile still appeared on the Facebook mobile app. Inc. has asked Facebook if that was due to a technical issue. 

In the video, Zuckerberg said Facebook Live was a response to what he described as a "new golden age of video online," an age that started with the launch of apps like Meerkat and Periscope. (The latter launched independently but quickly acquired by Twitter.) Zuckerberg said the expansion of live--already popular with celebrities and public figures--to general users and addition of features was just the start of Facebook's plans with live video. 

Livestreaming has a unique appeal to it, according to Zuckerberg. It's adaptable and engaging in ways different from other social media. "It's a much more fun and social experience."

 

Published on: Apr 6, 2016