Skip to main content

Facebook Live viewers can now chime in with private chats — or their own video stream

facebook live private chats shared streams start a chat  thread copy
As live video continues to grow, Facebook is making the feature even more social. Tuesday, May 23, the social media giant announced two new Facebook Live features with the ability to chat privately with a friend or the option to invite another user to stream with you.

The first feature makes live videos more social by opening up an avenue to chat outside of the public stream of comments. With Live Chat With Friends, users can invite a friend, whether they are already watching or not, to a private chat. These messages are only accessible by invited users, unlike the public comments, which Facebook says already number ten times the remarks on videos that are not posted live.

Facebook is first testing the feature on mobile, but the social media platform expects to add the feature to more outlets this summer.


For users streaming their own live broadcast, friends can now be invited and added using their own camera. The result is a sort of picture-in-picture video coming from two different sources. The feature is a continuation of a similar option that was launched last year but was only accessible to public figure Pages.

Live stream guests can be added by accessing the Live Viewers section or by tapping on comments from viewers. The feature works whether you’re holding your phone horizontally, which puts the video side-by-side, or vertically, which adds a picture-in-picture for the second stream in the corner.

Both features add more social features to live-streaming, with one feature allowing for private chats and another allowing a viewer to chime in themselves during the stream. Facebook is continuing to refine the ability to go live, last week altering algorithms so that videos pushed out as live that are just animations and polls show up lower in the news feed.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
How to go live on Facebook
Facebook LIve

Facebook Live lets you livestream video directly from your Android or iOS device. Creating and streaming live content might sound like a challenge, but setting up a livestream within Facebook's mobile app is a fairly straightforward process. Here's how to go live.
Getting started
Step 1: The first step to setting up a livestream is to launch the Facebook app as you would normally. From the News Feed tab, locate the Live button just below the What's on Your Mind? section at the top of your display. (Note: The screenshots below are from the iOS version, but the steps also apply to Android.)

Step 2: Next, tap either the Live button or the What's on Your Mind? field at the top, the latter of which will bring up a host of additional options, including a Live Video button.

Read more
You can now download Facebook’s Messenger app to your desktop
Facebook Messenger Desktop App

Facebook launched a Messenger desktop app for Windows and macOS on Thursday, allowing users to text, voice and video chat for free outside of the social media platform’s website.

In a press release, Facebook noted, “Over the past month, we saw more than a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger.”

Read more
You can now buy or rent videos in Amazon Prime Video for iPhone and Apple TV

A new shift in Apple's approach to streaming services means that it will no longer take a 30% commission within "premium subscription video" services like Amazon Prime Video, which means Amazon customers can now buy or rent videos on their iPhones or Apple TV devices.

Apple has had a longstanding policy of taking a 30% cut from all in-app purchases made on iOS devices. That policy has rubbed many developers the wrong way and caused big companies like Amazon to restrict digital purchases within its apps. In Amazon's Kindle app for iOS, for instance, people can access their existing Kindle library but there is no way to buy new titles from Amazon within the app.

Read more