If you have been experimenting with Facebook Live for your live streams you will know that one of the challenges is being able to easily see comments so that you can respond to them.
Some of the more recent apps I have talked about that you can use for Facebook Live even encourage you to build an audience in their app rather than Facebook. They have, in a number of cases, created special tools and features in their apps for audience members to use.
The problem is that many people using those tools are ignoring the comments on the Facebook Page where the live stream is being shared to.
Does this really matter? Absolutely! There are of course times that you may want to focus on delivering content or the people you are interviewing in your live stream and it also depends on how you plan to re-purpose the show.
However paying no attention to comments for your Facebook Live stream either by responding in the comments (which I do for the Live Stream Insiders show) or verbally referencing comments from the audience demonstrates that you do not value their attention and the time they spend with you. The comments from viewers can also fundamentally change the tone and content of your live stream and even influence areas such as new product development, business processes and marketing communications of your products and services.
The ability to easily see and engage with Facebook comments is one of the distinctive features of a relatively new live stream platform. BeLive.tv enables you to bring comments from your audience onto the screen AND you as a host can also post messages and calls to action on the live stream video interface on Facebook Live.
I should add that some other platforms that integrate with Facebook Live are planning to introduce similar commenting features in the near future.
How To Get Started With BeLive.tv To Live Stream To Facebook Live
BeLive.tv is currently in beta and is free to use – there is no date at the moment for when they plan to publish the pricing of the app though they have stated it will be affordable for small business use.
To get access to the commenting feature for BeLive.tv, head over to this link (it will give you quicker access than just going to the main page of the website). However be aware this is a small team based in Israel and they have been inundated with people looking to access the app in the last few days so you made need to be patient in terms of waiting for a reply.
I was fortunate to be able to meet via Skype for a conversation with their CEO and he joined us to talk about BeLive.tv on the latest edition of the Live Stream Insiders show.
Note: BeLive.tv works on Chrome browsers on desktop at this time.
When you initially register you will be asked for the text that will become the post on Facebook Live title to accompany your live stream.
You will need to connect using Facebook – BeLive.tv does not have a recording anywhere else – you will be broadcasting directly to Facebook. The app jsimply provides the additional functionality over and above those provided by Facebook Live.
At this time, the platform has few if any guides on how to use it – I know that people who are used to live streaming will be relatively comfortable with this. I have suggested to the development team that they make some information available for people who are not so familiar with live streaming and Facebook Live.
When you look to create a Q and A live stream using Facebook Live with BeLive.tv you will be able to select where you wish to live stream to on Facebook – your profile, a page you manage, a Group you manage, on an Event page or you can just test so it will not stream publically.
If you want live stream immediately, then just proceed with creating the broadcast. The default time on the form is for “Now”.
You will need to give access to your camera and microphone and then will be able to start your live stream to Facebook Live.
A differentiating feature that I have only seen in one other app at this time for Facebook Live is the ability for the host of the live stream to comment in the app and then add the comment to the screen. This is a great feature to add calls to action or event web addresses for viewers to be informed about. The comment will appear for 5 seconds. After that time you will need to add the text again.
A useful update to this feature would be to allow hosts to pre-load comments enabling the host to bring them on screen during the live stream – including retaining them for future live streams.
You can see an example in the screen shot below that a I shared a comment on the test Facebook live stream I was hosting.
You will also see a watermark on the top right of the screen – it would a helpful update to make this just one line – for example removing the phrase ‘Powered by’ which would make the watermark not fill so much of the screen. In addition perhaps when the paid options for BeLive.tv are available there could be an opportunity to offer a white label live stream which would be of benefit to businesses.
A helpful feature for broadcasters is that you can see all the comments that are posted by viewers on Facebook and can bring them onto the screen – this is a great way to engage and recognise your audience. (See later in this article for screen shots of what this looks like).
At the end of the live stream when you have stopped the broadcast it will also stop on Facebook Live. Once the video is available on Facebook Live for people to watch as a replay the end message is that “The live video will resume in a moment”.
This could be misleading for viewers so I hope the developers will change this to say the live stream has ended or even better, allow a specific call to action from the broadcaster to be the final image on the video.
Face To Face Interviews – How To Get Started With BeLive.tv To Live Stream To Facebook Live
Once you have done a solo broadcast you will be able to have access to the BeLive.tv beta feature allowing two people to be on screen at one time on your Facebook live stream.
Guests will need to sign in with Facebook so this will be an issue if your guest does not have a Facebook account. I have recommended to BeLive.tv that they enable login with an email address.
Here is a screen shot of what it is like to be a guest on the two person live stream from inside the app – you can see public and private comments as a guest on the show. Only the host can highlight comments from the viewers to go on screen.
As the host you will be given a link to share with your guest to enable them to come on screen. In this test we tried to bring other guests in to take the seat – BeLive.tv currently only allows for two people to be on screen but they have the capability to have more people and are currently testing this.
Here is a close up screen shot of what you see as a host – you can write your onscreen message or highlight comments from viewers to appear on the Facebook Live video.
Here is an example of what the comment on screen will look like to viewers on Facebook.
Here us a example of a live stream I watched which featured the CEO of BeLive.tv watching on my mobile device and you can see the host brought my comment on screen.
As a host you can identify which comments you wish to bring on screen and when you want to take them off screen. Note that the emoji do not look as you might expect from the emoji keyboard.
I reached out to BeLive.tv team about how you might be able to have different people in the guest seat. Here are their recommendations:
Our Interview product is built to make it very simple and easy for two people to have a live conversation, so while it is possible to hot-switch guests this is not what this format was designed for.
However it is technically possible to do such switching, if you follow these instructions carefully by order:
• Start a live broadcast while guest 1 is connected
• Ask guest 1 to leave
• Ask guest 2 to join.
Live streaming to Facebook Live with BeLive.tv allows a full comment on screen – what you post in the stream of comments is what will appear on the screen in the video to all viewers – you can see in the screen shot below a long comment I made appears on the screen.
Once your live stream interview ends you can click the End Broadcast button to stop the Facebook live stream.
Multi Camera Live Streams – How To Get Started With BeLiveTV To Live Stream To Facebook Live
BeLive.tv has a new feature which allows multiple camera to be used for a live stream including mobile phones. This is a beta feature that you have to request access to.
The page for the product does not mention iOS – however that is how I tested the feature.
This is a great feature for showing multiple camera angles at an event or even different venues as you can have a moderator switch cameras and mics.
Here is an example of what the screen looks like when you are live streaming from iOS – you access the BeLive.tv multi camera room through the iOS app – note how you can zoom your camera.
In the multi camera live stream using BeLive.tv you can privately message the different camera operators. For example the moderator can provide information to the different camera operators.
If you are looking for additional resources to help you go live with BeLive.tv check out their demonstration video page on Facebook.
Five Reasons Why You May Want To Use BeLive.TV for Facebook Live
It is great to see another live stream solution for Facebook Live be available to test.
Here in summary are five reasons you may want to consider checking out the beta of the app:
- As a host you can post comments such as calls to action directly onto your screen for viewers to see
- You can stream on Facebook Live to your Profile, Page, a Group you have admin access to or an Event
- You can be solo on screen or you could host interviews with a guest
- It is easy to see comments from Facebook within the app and you can promote those comments onto the video screen for everyone to see
- You can add multiple cameras to your stream which can be in the same or different locations and could also stream mobile video – this is especially interesting if you host events.
An Important Consideration For Live Streams
I often get asked which is the right platform to use for live streaming.
Through my role for the Live Stream Insiders, I get to test lots of new tools. This however does not mean that I use every tool all the time – I choose the live stream tool and platform that is relevant for my own business goals.
There are times that it is relevant to bring in a production team for the your live stream. There are also times where it is appropriate to use tools specific for particular platforms – that is where BeLive.tv comes in as it offers some distinctive features for Facebook Live and is accessible with little technical skill and has low impact to your CPU. But it may not be the solution for you dependent on the features you are looking for – for example having more than two people on screen, adding videos or images into the live stream, screen sharing, live streaming to YouTube etc.
If you are unsure which is the relevant live stream platform for your business, you can schedule a free consultation with me to start that exploration – just book a time here. Or attend one of the forthcoming conferences I am speaking at on the topic of live video or the forthcoming workshop on live video for PR and communications professionals.
Do let me know if you explore BeLive.tv and how you plan to use it for your marketing and communications.
Update To Two Person Live Streams on Facebook Live – New feature from BeLive.tv 21 November 2016
Today BeLive.tv released an update on iOS and on desktop. They also started a weekly live stream on Facebook Live hosted by someone who produced shows rather than the BeLive team taking the lead. With the information shared in the live stream, plus the email and the iOS update, there are a number of notable features for two person interviews:
- you can now switch between multiple views of the host and guest including picture in picture, split screen or solo screen
- there are editable lower thirds for the host and guest
- your guest can join from desktop or laptop or an iPhone
- there is a private chat feature for the host and guest – necessary now as you can invite your fans, guests, or friends into your broadcast.
If you are looking for a currently free (though this will be a paid app) platform to have two person interviews and live stream to Facebook Live then this update is probably worth checking out.
Schedule Your Facebook Live – New feature from BeLive.tv January 2017
BeLive.tv has released an update to their web interface where you may see the opportunity to delete a live stream.
I would advise using this with caution as the update has resulted in live streams being deleted on Facebook Live as well – the BeLive.tv team have stated that they will be looking at reviewing this feature given the feedback they have had from users.
BeLive has also introduced an update that is being tested by beta users – the ability to schedule your Facebook Live which can assist you in attracting more viewers to your live stream.
BeLive is becoming increasingly popular as a live stream platform for people who want to stream to Facebook Live using a desktop, especially for one to one interviews. It will be interesting to see how it continues to develop in the year ahead and what pricing will be when they formally launch.
Talk Show – Add Up To Three Guests On Your Show And Others Wait In The Green Room – New feature from BeLive.tv March 2017
BeLive.tv introduced the ability to host a Talk Show as you can have between one to three people on screen, with different screen layouts and have guests waiting to come on screen in the green room – learn how to use this new feature here.
Screen Share During Your Facebook Live – New feature from BeLive.tv May 2017
A popular request by users of BeLive.tv is the ability to screen share during a Facebook Live. This feature is being tested by users – learn how to put this feature to work in your live streams in this tutorial.
Additional Resources To Help You Use Facebook Live And BeLive.tv For Your Communications
Read my other tutorials about using live streaming for your business.
If you are curious about whether BeLive is a relevant platform for your live video goals, you can schedule a confidential meeting with me here.