Like many social media platforms, Facebook makes it simple for those with sufficient bandwidth to upload videos or do live video streaming. There’s a relatively simple method for streaming live from your smartphone and/or iPad, and a more complex method that involves using a Facebook Stream Key for when you’re using live streaming software.
If you’re just going to be streaming live from your smartphone or iPad, all you need to do is select the Live camera icon below the What’s on your mind? text entry field, decide where you want to post the video (your privacy setting) from a drop-down menu at the top, and select the Go Live icon at the bottom. If you want, you can also add a description of the video. That’s it—very quick and easy if you’re reporting live from somewhere or showing your relatives how wonderful your vacation rental is—your viewers get to see what you see. You can do the same thing from your streaming computer if you just want a simple live video of you talking by selecting Live Video,and then Create Live Video, and finally Webcam as the video source.
But, if you want your live stream to be a professional looking video with lower-third titles or other graphics and enhancements, you’ll need to use live streaming software for your Facebook live video. Do this by selecting Streaming Software as the video source on Facebook. This applies whether you create an event and invite people to the live stream, or just start streaming spontaneously.
In a previous blog post, we discussed what the Wirecast user experience is like. Here we get into a specific tip for streaming to Facebook.
Using the Facebook Stream Key
Connecting your streaming software to Facebook involves using the Facebook Stream Key and a URL, both of which are discreet settings. Facebook assigns these to your stream so that the output of your streaming software delivers the video to the Facebook location you have selected. Facebook warns that anyone who has your stream key can stream video via your Facebook account, so be sure to keep this information secure.
The Facebook Stream Key is a long string of characters that looks like this: FB-4756949131036213-0-AbwxL_-4OuqJgGBG. When used along with the discreet URL, this Facebook Stream Key connects your streaming software or device to your Facebook account with the privacy settings you selected.
The Facebook Stream Key comes in two varieties: one time use or persistent. You may only use the one time use code once and then it expires. However, when you choose to use the persistent stream key, your streaming software can and will use the same key and URL every time you stream to Facebook. If you do not select persistent stream key when setting up your live stream, you won’t be able to use that same code again once your live stream has ended.
Depending on the type of streaming software or service you utilize, you may need to copy both the Facebook Stream Key and the URL into the settings of your streaming software. Facebook settings make this cut and paste process simple—all you do is find the key and URL and select Copy. For some streaming services, you may need to append the Facebook Stream Key to the end of the URL. Then, when you’re ready, click Go Live Now to start the video stream from your encoder. Or click Schedule Live Video Event to schedule your broadcast for a later date. Also, be sure to write a description and title for your live stream.
Wirecast (software only) and Wirecast Gear (software and hardware) make it extremely easy to live stream to Facebook by automatically connecting you to Facebook without any cutting and pasting. You simply select Facebook from the list of selections in the Output menu. This automates the process of cutting and pasting the Facebook Stream Key and URL. However, if you choose RTMP Server from the output Menu, you can paste both manually.
Wirecast Live Streaming Software
Telestream stands behind its proven Wirecast live production and streaming products, including Wirecast software and Wirecast Gear. Wirecast Gear is a self-contained hardware appliance that comes preconfigured with Wirecast software. What distinguishes Wirecast from competitors is its inherent, high-quality encoding, and the efficient way it processes and streams video to multiple, popular online destinations simultaneously. And Wirecast has a customer support team to answer questions and to help solve problems.
Wirecast live streaming software gives you a deep, broadcast-grade toolbox, including multi-camera switching, the ability to add fun and engaging backgrounds, advanced audio mixing, text and graphics, plus reliable encoding, and streaming, that will greatly benefit your next streaming media production. Wirecast and Wirecast Gear are ready to go whenever and wherever you want to stream your next live show or event. Click here for more information about the Wirecast family of products, and to download a free trial of Wirecast software to try it out for yourself.