How to Watch Facebook Live on Desktop and Mobile
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

Facebook Live is the social network’s live video platform. It allows users to stream footage from their smartphone cameras directly to their Facebook news feeds.

Unlock the free "Facebook Security Checklist" now!

This will sign you up to our newsletter

Enter your Email

The content is diverse. There’s plenty of creative, funny, and thought-provoking footage. Unfortunately, you might also encounter less-than-savory content such as murders, sexual assaults, and suicide, though it should be noted that these cases are few and far between.

Here’s how to watch Facebook Live and how to find good content.

Why Is Facebook Live So Popular?

Facebook Live has been accessible for some users since mid-2016, becoming available to everyone in January 2017.

The platform has quickly grown in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why:

  • On average, live videos enjoy six times more engagement than regular videos.
  • 78 percent of online video audiences use Facebook Live.
  • To date, publishers have earned $50 million in ad revenue for using Facebook Live.

This all means that one out of every five new Facebook videos is now a live broadcast. Live videos rack up eight billion views per day.

Facebook Live via the News Feed

If someone with whom you have a connection on Facebook (such a friend, page, group, or celebrity you’re following) decides to broadcast live on Facebook How to Stream Video From Your Smartphone or PC With Facebook Live How to Stream Video From Your Smartphone or PC With Facebook Live Facebook has another way for you to communicate with the world: via your webcam, which allows you to video chat directly to your audience. Read More , their video will appear in your news feed.

However, it’s not a particularly satisfactory way of finding content. The method relies on a few variables:

  • You need some form of Facebook relationship with the person or entity.
  • Facebook’s algorithms have to opt to show you the video in your news feed.
  • You need to be on Facebook at the exact moment that the other person is filming.

How to Watch Facebook Live on Desktop

If you want a more efficient way of tuning into Facebook Live videos from your desktop, you have two options available to you.

1. Use the Navigation Panel

live video link on facebook

The most common way of accessing Facebook Live videos is to use the dedicated link in the navigation panel on the left-hand side of the Facebook news feed.

You will find the link—titled Live Video—in the Explore section. You may need to click on Show More to reveal it.

Unfortunately, it seems there is no longer a way to pin your most used links from the Explore menu to the top of the left-hand panel.

2. Use the URL

facebook live map

You can save time and head straight to the Facebook Live page from anywhere on the web by entering the service’s URL in your browser’s address bar. The URL is facebook.com/live.

It will take you to the same page as using the navigation bar method described above.

Whichever of the two methods you choose, you will be presented with a map of your region. Each blue dot represents a live video.

How to Watch Facebook Live on Android

If you want to watch Facebook Live on your Android device, you can once again turn to your news feed or use the dedicated link.

To find the dedicated link, open Facebook and follow the instructions below:

  1. Tap on the More tab (three horizontal lines) in the upper-right hand corner of the app.
  2. Scroll down the page and select See More.
  3. Tap on Live Videos.
  4. Choose the video you want to watch.

How to Watch Facebook Live on iOS

The process for watching Facebook Live videos on iOS is broadly the same as the Android process.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open the Facebook app.
  2. Tap on the More tab in the lower right-hand corner.
  3. Scroll down and select See More.
  4. Tap on Live Videos.
  5. Choose the video you want to watch.

Other Ways to Find Facebook Live Videos

If you can’t find what you’re looking using the Live Video links as described above, there are a few other ways you can find Facebook Live videos to watch.

Enable Live Video Notifications

turn on notifications facebook

One of the best ways to make sure you never miss a live stream from someone you follow is to enable live video notifications.

To turn on notifications for Facebook Live, click on the small arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook homescreen, then head to Settings > Notifications > Edit and toggle Live Videos to On.

Note: Perform the reverse steps if you want to silence Facebook Live notifications How to Silence Those Annoying Facebook Live Notifications How to Silence Those Annoying Facebook Live Notifications You might like Facebook Live, but you probably don't care about knowing every time someone uses it. Here's how to shut those annoying notifications off. Read More .

Use Hashtags

Facebook Live streamers have adopted the #live hashtag to indicate when they are on air. Of course, not every live streamer uses it, but it’s a good way to find specific videos.

You can search for the hashtag using the search bar at the top of the home screen on the desktop. You can even append other words, for example, #live Fortnite would bring up videos of people playing the game.

Ask People to Share Facebook Live Videos With You

share video facebook live

Like all content on Facebook, there is an internal Share button which you can use to share the people with other users.

If your friends have similar interests, tell them to share Facebook Live videos with you whenever they find something worthwhile.

Watch Old Facebook Live Videos

When someone finishes recording a Facebook Live video, the content is saved and added to the person’s profile for posterity.

It means you can scroll back through a person’s timeline and find old Facebook Live videos.

When you click on an old video, all their other old broadcasts will automatically load into a single playlist which you can then browse.

Warning: Adult Content on Facebook Live

Facebook Live does occasionally play host to adult or inappropriate videos, including pornography, violence, and other unsavory content.

Some of it is unplanned and can be filed in the “perils of live TV” category. However, some of it very much is planned and is actively advertised in the darkest corners of the web.

Naturally, Facebook’s terms and conditions do not permit videos of this nature, but because it’s live, it’s incredibly hard to filter out in advance. There’s no way for you to preemptively block adult videos.

Luckily, the content only represents a tiny fraction of the 3,000 years’ worth of video watched every day—you’d have to be incredibly unfortunate to stumble into it by accident. Nonetheless, it’s important to realize that the risk exists.

If you’re on the hunt for all types of videos on Facebook, not just the live variety, check out this guide on how to find videos on Facebook.

Other Ways to Watch Live Streams Online

Facebook Live is just one of a growing number of services that allow regular people around the world to stream their content to the masses.

Check out our comparison of Facebook Live and Periscope Periscope vs. Facebook Live: Which One Is Better? Periscope vs. Facebook Live: Which One Is Better? Periscope and Facebook Live are the two best live streaming services. Here's how they compare and which one's best for you. Read More if you want to learn about other ways to watch live user-generated videos online. And to broadcast yourself, check out how to go live on Facebook How to Go Live on Facebook (And the Hidden Risks) How to Go Live on Facebook (And the Hidden Risks) In this article we'll explain how to go live on Facebook, along with the hidden risks you need to watch out for. Read More .

Explore more about: Facebook, Facebook Live, Online Video.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jim
    February 25, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Think that the FB Live days are pretty much gone. I used to love being able to go to the map view on a desktop browser and check out live casts from different areas of the world. Especially if there was some sort of current event unraveling. Seems like Live only works on a mobile device. But still, from what I can see on my device, it only shows some sort of limited list of "top" videos based upon number of viewers, I think. No map to explore. Pretty much useless.

  2. Jesse
    January 4, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Facebook removed both the "facebook.com/live" URL (redirects to Watch) and the "Live" choice in the left-hand navigation (at least for me) in late December, so there's no way to watch them now unless they appear in your News Feed. They may be rolling out these changes slowly, so if you still see the options, good luck on keeping them!

    • Chris M
      June 11, 2019 at 11:54 pm

      In the browser on a desktop, search "live"
      On the top tabs, select "video"
      On the left side bar, select "live"

      I had another kind of back door link but they closed it in the last couple of months. The map never came back.

      I miss is a great deal, there was so much variety in the world!

      YouTube also has a live option. Go to the YouTube home page and on the left-side panel scroll down for the "live" link.