Facebook’s global reach is undeniably massive at more than one billion daily users. But as competition creeps up from platforms and apps like Snapchat and Vine, the social networking giant has been making big investments in its streaming and video features in an effort to better attract millennials and Gen Zers.
Its latest move makes it possible for all its regular users to live stream their friends and connections.
Facebook first rolled out live streaming for confirmed celebrity and brand accounts in the summertime. On Dec. 4, the company announced in a blog post that it will begin testing live streaming for select U.S. users with iPhones.
Users eligible for the feature will have it added with their next app update. Through the feature they can share live video via the “update status” field. The live video will show up in real time on the homepage of users’ friends, and will then be saved permanently (as is the case with all other videos on Facebook.)
By contrast, Snapchat video disappears after 24 hours online, a feature that has proven irresistible to millions of tween and millennial users. With a reported average six billion video views per day, Snapchat’s primary demo is 18 years old and younger.
Vine, meanwhile, has also proven popular among young users. Jason Toff, head of product at Vine, Tweeted in January that Vine’s six-second-video format drives 1.5 billion plays per day and, according to a survey by eMarketer, is most popular among U.S. users age 14-17.
Earlier this year, the company acquired the streaming rights to a small slate of festival films and striking a deal with actor George Takei to stream his new documentary series.