Going live on Facebook can seem like a daunting – not to say tedious – feat. But that's far from the truth. It's a simple and straightforward way to interact with your friends, and can be done in two steps. Formerly reserved for celebrities, it was extended to the general public in early 2016. We explain how to take advantage of this great feature...
1. First, you'll need to click on an icon that shows a sinister-looking red video camera (don't worry) sporting a white eye. It can be found under "What's on your mind?" at the top of your News Feed (you know, the reams and reams of puppy videos and baby photos that pop up when you enter your password).
2. Next - this one's pretty intuitive - hit the big blue Start Live Video button to begin your broadcast.
3. If you wish, you can write a description of your antics. Whether it's an anti-capitalist tirade or the live broadcast of your daughter's oboe recital, signage can attract – or warn – an audience.
4. When you're done, don't forget to tap Finish. This will end your broadcast, ensuring that nothing you don't want online appears online.
This last step, it should be noted, is important. You know the mortification when you leave a 17-minute voicemail on someone's phone to go about your daily business? Imagine that, broadcast to about 400 people. Yes, the Finish button is kind of a key button – just remember that, and you're good to go
The fun of live streaming doesn't stop there. You can livestream in a group or event by tapping Write something or Say something, then selecting the Live icon. Want to cause a buzz for the demo you're planning? Go live. Desperate for someone to pick up ice cream for a party? Go live. Compulsive desire to share a little slam poetry with your feminist collective? You get the picture...
Note that when live, your broadcast will appear in the “Stories” section of your friends' Facebook feeds. It just makes it easier for them to view everyone's content collectively, grouping it together in one visible area.
Also, if there's someone you don't actively want to see your live stream (a boss, your former manager, a particularly distinguished grandmother), you can tap on the profile picture next to the comment of a viewer and press "Block". Simple as. You can even stream just for yourself, albeit for solipsistic and ultimately useless purposes.
Now every man and his dog can become real Kardashians, depending on the strength of the content. Whether you go ahead and thrive – or stalk – is up to you.