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Facebook Live rolls out gaming-focused streaming features for laptops, desktops

Facebook on Tuesday introduced a set of new video-streaming features as part of its expanded Facebook Live platform that allow users to stream live video and gameplay footage from desktop or laptop computers.

In addition to promoting streamed content such as Q&As and vlogs, Facebook said its new streaming options are of particular interest to gamers, as the platform now supports streamed gameplay footage with live commentary.

While Facebook Live introduced streaming video features for the popular social network in 2016, the service was previously limited to mobile platforms. By opening up its streaming options to desktop and laptop PCs, Facebook Live hopes to encourage the production of high-quality instructional content and gaming tutorials among its user base.

“We’re excited to announce that, as of today, people around the world can broadcast live video to Facebook from their desktop or laptop computers,” Facebook said in a press release. “While it’s been possible for people to go live to Facebook from mobile devices since last year, desktop or laptop computers provide a stable camera setup that can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts — from Q&As to vlogs to tutorials to any broadcast from someone who isn’t on the move.”

Facebook specifically targets the gaming market with its streaming service expansion, noting that Facebook Live now supports streaming-focused apps like Open Broadcaster Software. The platform additionally boasts support for external capture hardware, making it easy for gamers to live-stream console footage via their Facebook profiles and status updates.

Streamers can then share their gameplay footage and experiences across Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups.

“If you’re a gamer, this new feature makes it easier than ever to stream your PC gameplay to friends and followers, and engage with them while you play,” Facebook said. “If you’re giving your friends or followers a tutorial or how-to guide, you can incorporate on-screen graphics, titles, and overlays. Or if you’re an artist, you can go live and switch seamlessly between cameras as you narrate the process.”

Facebook users can access the platform’s suite of streaming features by clicking the new “Live Video” link that appears at the top of Facebook feeds and timelines.

Updated on 4-18-17 by Steven Petite: Added additional details on being able to share gameplay footage and experiences across Facebook Profiles, Pages, and Groups.

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