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Facebook expands live streaming to take on Periscope

Facebook is opening its live video streaming service to everyone, the company said on Thursday, as it looks to take on Twitter-owned Periscope and Meerkat.

The U.S. social network is trialing it in the U.S. with a "small percentage of people" on iPhones after originally releasing a live streaming feature earlier this year for celebrities and high profile people.

"Live lets you bring your friends and family right next to you to experience what's happening together," Facebook product managers Vadim Lavrusik and Thai Tran wrote in a blog post.



Facebook Live screens
Source: Facebook
Facebook Live screens

Users will see a "live video icon" in their status update area. You can write a description and choose who you want to see the broadcast such as just friends or the public. The number of live viewers, names of friends tuning in and a real-time stream of comments will also be shown. The video will then be saved on your timeline once the live stream ends.

Live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope made a splash this year and Twitter bought the latter in March.

While Periscope is still a separate app and still not integrated with Twitter, Facebook is hoping to differentiate itself by building its live-streaming service within its app.

Facebook's move also ties in with its broader push into video. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently said that it would eventually give video content creators a revenue share of video views, in a bid to get more people making video on the social network.

Photo collages

Facebook also announced a new photo feature which lets users group pictures together into a collage.

When you tap a photo, you'll see recent moments from your camera roll organized into collages based on when and where you took them. You can edit the collage. The feature has now been rolled out on iPhones with Android to follow early next year, Facebook said.

The feature is very similar to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, as it looks to leverage traits from the photo sharing app.