Live streaming is a popular trend in this age of social media, but not everyone can be a YouTube star, nor do they want to be. Still, live streaming can be fun to share what you’re doing right now to family and friends.
But how do you live stream your life to those who matter? Fortunately, there are two apps that are already integrated with two major social networks that you’re probably already on: Periscope and Facebook Live.
How do they compare to each other? Let’s find out.
While Periscope originally launched with the requirement of a Twitter account to use, it is now open to everyone. However, it has deep integration with your Twitter account, so if you’re verified on Twitter, it carries over to your Periscope profile as well.
If you have Twitter linked, you can send out a tweet each time you broadcast, so your followers can know you’re live and watch your stream (we have some practical tips).
However, the real fun with Periscope is the fact that your audience could be people you don’t know, and then you can build a new follower base.
Users of Periscope may only stream through mobile devices only. Before you stream, you can choose to have it public or just share with specific people who follow you, though the latter’s done one-by-one. There are buttons to toggle location sharing, to enable chat for everyone or just people you follow, and to share your stream on social media.
During the broadcast, you can freely switch between your device’s rear or front facing camera by double tapping. Periscope also automatically detects when your device is in portrait or landscape mode and adjusts the stream accordingly.
As you stream, you’ll see the usernames of who’s watching, as well as total live viewers. If you get hearts or comments, they show up on your screen.
Once your broadcast ends, a replay gets saved to your profile and can be viewed by others. Replays show the complete stream, including viewers, hearts, and comments. You can even view Broadcast Details on replays, which provides stats such as viewer graph charts, duration time, and stars and comments received.
If you prefer, individual broadcasts could be hidden or deleted altogether. You can also save full broadcasts (sans users, hearts, and comments) directly to your device.
Find Other Streamers
When you’re not broadcasting, it’s easy to find interesting streaming content. If you connected Twitter, Facebook, or Google, you’re able to see your network friends on Periscope and follow them. Periscope also features various broadcasts if they’re popular enough. Or you can look for location-based streams and replays, or browse trending profiles.
Whenever someone you’re following ends up on-air, you receive a notification. During streams, viewers may interact with each other by tapping their name and writing a comment. It’s important to remember that you can only comment on a stream when it’s live.
In order to use Facebook Live, you need a Facebook account, of course. But since most of us are already on the social network, doing live videos lets us develop deeper connections with friends and family, or clients if you’re managing a brand.
Plus, you can take advantage of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm to go public and get boosted while live.
Before going live, there’s an option to set it to Public, Friends, Friends except, or Only Me. Facebook Live can be used on mobile devices or through desktop browsers like Google Chrome.
Once you go live, you can add filters and effects to your face or on-screen, similar to Snapchat’s augmented options. A double tap switches between the front and rear-facing cameras, and there’s also a button to enhance the lighting.
Depending on your stream’s privacy setting, you can invite friends to watch or even have them join you on the stream. If you have viewers that aren’t already your friend, they remain anonymous unless they comment.
Facebook reactions and comments appear on live videos and replays, as long as it’s posted to your profile or page. It’s easy to contact the original broadcaster too, since it’s all done from personal pages, business pages, and groups.
After you end your stream, you can have it posted to your timeline and even make it so that it expires after a certain date. Or if you prefer, you could delete it or save directly to your device.
The videos can also be uploaded as a Facebook Story. You can also tag a friend and add a location if needed.
Which Streaming Service Should You Pick?
While both Periscope and Facebook Live are easily accessible and have straightforward setup, it’s ultimately up to you to decide which one to stick with.
Periscope is more focused on establishing connections with people you didn’t already know. It also has the benefit of being its own app and incredibly quick to get on the air. However, Twitter, the company behind Periscope, seems to have been neglecting the app for a while, so it’s not as active as it used to be.
Facebook Live is centered around deepening existing online connections. Plus, there are a ton of filters and effects to liven up your stream, and you can broadcast from a desktop too. Facebook seems to be actively pushing for Live, so it’s well supported.