Published on April 17th, 2017
After making its debut last year, Facebook Live has quickly proven its unique ability to engage audiences in a more personable and human manner.
To be able to easily go live whenever, interact with users real time, all without the need for specific codes and URLs, makes it incredibly simplistic for both marketers and users.
Currently, Facebook Live only allows you to stream from either your mobile device and, as of March 2017, your desktop as well. But, if you’re looking to stream with other people, specifically people who aren’t standing next to you, you’re fresh out of luck.
This creates a problem. For many marketers, video content, especially in webinar and interview formats, are incredibly useful ventures that allow you to educate your audience. Streaming these to Facebook opens up a whole way to deliver that content and interact with your audience (while drawing a new one in the process).
While Facebook may later integrate the ability to stream live with others, the current solution is to use additional software that integrates with Facebook live.
So, what are your options?
To aid in your search for streaming software for your next webinar, hangout, or interview, here are 7 different SaaS tools, free and for purchase, to get your party on Facebook Live.
Wirecast is a video capture software that allows you to pull video feeds from your desktop, iPhone, DSLR, etc. into your computer and stream them live on Facebook.
Unfortunately, the software does not allow you to create a multiparty conference room, so you’ll need to utilize additional meeting software to organize everyone in one space. From here, you can set the video to capture your desktop and connect to Facebook live with that in view.
What’s unique about the software is that you have the ability to edit and enhance your video on the fly by utilizing transitions, text and lower-thirds, countdown timers, title screens, scoreboards, audio mixing etc.
Wirecast is available for a free trial or purchase at a one-time fee of $495. If you intend on streaming to Facebook outside of a conference setting, and need more customizable settings, this may be a better option.
While many know Zoom for its online meeting software, they also provide additional software, Zoom Webinar, that enables you to create a conference room, invite participants, and stream live to Facebook. Also, it just so happens to be the software IMPACT has started using for our Website Throwdown.
Before hosting your webinar, you first need to schedule it within your Zoom portal. The link can then be sent out to your participants ahead of time and scheduled on your respective calendars.
Once you and your participants have the software downloaded to your computer, you can each enter through the webinar link. Once everyone is in, and all participants are promoted to Panelists, all you need to do is select the ‘more’ button at the bottom of your Zoom window, and select ‘Live on Facebook’.
Once this is activated, you will be streaming live! There is no preview mode before people can start seeing the stream.
The Zoom Webinar package starts at $54.99 at 100 attendees if attendees are being invited to watch within Zoom. There is no limit for how many people watching through Facebook Live.
BlueJeans is another multi-party video platform that grants users the ability to create video conferences that can be streamed easily to Facebook Live.
Like Zoom, you first need to schedule your video conference ahead of time within your account’s portal. While doing so, you invite additional hosts so they can receive the webinar link ahead of time.
Once you’re in the meeting, you have the option to share your screen, change the layout of the videos, and invite additional members.
To go live on Facebook, the main host simply needs to press the ‘Start Broadcast’ button on the right side panel, login and choose the timeline and audience. Before going live, you can preview the stream to verify that what you're sharing is exactly what you want your viewers seeing.
The onSocial package starts at $39.95 for up to 25 remote participants, any more will require you to get a custom quote based on your needs.
Although only in Beta, StageTen enables you to share your computer screen and stream it to Facebook Live or Twitch. This means you’ll need to utilize additional software, such as Google Hangouts, to gather you participants into a conference room.
What's nice about StageTen is it does all the video processing from the cloud, avoiding any slowdown on your computer.
If you are looking to make your show more dynamic, the software also gives you the ability to switch between your live steam, pre-recorded videos, or other graphics you may want viewers to see alongside the video.
Since it's in Beta, you can sign up for early access and see a demo of the product before deciding whether or not it’s ideal for your video needs.
Free Facebook Live Streaming Alternatives
Similar to other types of software, OpenBroadcaster in not meeting software, but allows you to select a video source (such as your desktop or webcam) that can be streamed through Facebook Live when you generate a Stream Key.
The software will need to be combined with a conference room tool which you can have as the active screen when you set your video source to share your desktop.
What’s nice about Open Broadcaster is you can seamlessly switch to other screens as your streaming, whether that be pre-recorded video resources, a DSLR camera, mic only, etc.
There are a variety of step-by-step video tutorials to help you get everything configured on YouTube. For a piece of software that’s free, Open Broadcaster is fairly robust and also has a wonderful community who's willing to help if you have any questions.
While HopLive advertises itself to gamers, the software is just as useful for marketers and those alike looking to stream to Facebook.
Like some of the other options listed, Hoplive does not actually enable you to create a conference room to invite people to. Instead, the software is able to share your desktop screen and stream that to Facebook Live.
This means you will need to utilize additional conferencing software listed within other examples. Once everyone is in an online conference room, one person will need to start up HopLive from their desktop (ideally someone hosting the webinar).
From here, sign in to Facebook from the program, choose the resolution you’d like to stream at(I’d recommend 720p), and press the ‘go live on facebook’ button.
All you need to do from their is keep the conference room window in view for your streamers to see. Whatever the person hosting the HopLive stream sees is what the people on Facebook Live see.
The only issue with Hoplive is it’s Windows only, so those using an Apple product are out of luck unless a compatible version is released.
BeLive is an easy-to-use free alternative that enables you to go live with a single guest immediately or on a later date.
Like Zoom, the software allows you to control the layout of you and your guest's video with the click of a button.
If your stream has a specific agenda you want to showcase to your viewers, the software allows you to write on-screen updates that will show to the Facebook stream.
Another neat feature BeLive has is its ability to pull all Facebook comments on the live video into the BeLive software. This way, you aren't going back and forth between the Facebook page and the video chat to monitor comments.
As mentioned, the software only enables one other user to join you which can be problematic if you require a larger group of panelists.
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