facebook live
Facebook Live is a super-popular way to livestream, giving users a quick way to broadcast what’s happening at the moment, raw and uncut. It’s perfect for live streaming to friends, groups, or even the general public. The platform is set up to allow you to go live on Facebook quickly, and you have rich options like starting a live video with a friend streaming as well, raising money, or trying a mask (also known as a filter) for fun streaming.

Streaming live is possible from your Android or iOS mobile device, along with your desktop. And there are tools available to help you get the most out of your videos, too.

What you need to know before you start a livestream

First, starting a Facebook Live stream can all happen very quickly, so be prepared to be online fast, within seconds of tapping the right buttons. There’s not a lot of prep time from thinking about it to lights, camera, action.

Second, you can only be on Facebook Live from a mobile device for a maximum of eight hours. That may seem like forever if you just want a short stream of what the weather is like back to your family, but if you’re running an event, it’s something to check on.

See also: How to download images from Instagram

Finally, you’ll want to consider the details. Which camera will you use? Most likely, your phone’s rear camera is much better than the selfie camera. But if you’re talking to the camera throughout a livestream, you’ll almost certainly want to see how you look, and check for reactions and comments, so using the selfie camera might be better when you’re speaking with people. Not to mention there are some great selfie camera phones out there.

How to livestream on Facebook in four steps:

Facebook app on phone 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  1. Open the Facebook app or go to facebook.com.
  2. On your home screen, you’ll see the What’s on your mind section at the top. Under it, tap the Live Video option.
  3. Review your settings before you start to make sure your camera and device are set up correctly
  4. Finally, tap the Start Live Video button to start live streaming on your mobile device, or the Go Live button if you are using the web browser on your PC
  5. To stop, press the Finish button to stop streaming, after which you can share the recording on your timeline or delete it.

That’s it in five steps, from start to finish. But there are many optional steps to consider, some more essential than others. Here are the key ones; some obvious, some less so.

  • Select which camera you’ll use for the livestream — switch between the selfie camera and rear shooter with the switch camera icon.
  • Consider adding a livestream title and location.
  • One can throw in emoji as well, or by tapping the magic wand, add an effect or filter for your face, like adding a beard or a dog’s nose.
  • You can invite your Facebook friends to join the livestream by tapping the Bring a Friend option. The friends selected will get notified once you go live.
  • Set up the video so that the live streaming ends if the stream stops. Other optional settings include allowing viewers to rewind the video, setting up auto-generated captions, or letting viewers message you.
  • Limits: You can select exactly who can (or who can’t) view your livestream by tapping the To: … section in the upper-left.

Read next: 20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks you may not know