Emily Baines
January 28, 2016 4:15 pm

Facebook just joined the live-streaming throw down: Facebook announced today that all users (not just VIPs) can now stream live video — if they have iPhones, at least. “Today, we’re excited to expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the U.S. via iPhone, and we plan to start rolling this out to the rest of the world over the coming weeks,” product manager Vadim Lavrusik wrote! Yes. Now I can show people live updates of my cat acting adorable!

Facebook users can access this new feature by tapping the “Update Status” box at the top of their News Feed, which will reveal a new icon for live video. Sounds easy enough. There is also an option to write a quick description and choose the audience the stream will be shared with before going live.

“Video is an important part of the Facebook experience,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his quarterly earnings call. He revealed to listeners that more than 100 million hours of video are watched daily though the social network. That’s a lot of cat videos. (What? You mean other people don’t solely watch videos of friendly felines? That’s crazy talk.)

This announcement isn’t surprising to anyone working in the tech world. Twitter recently joined forces with GoPro to allow GoPro users to live stream video through the Twitter-owned Periscope app. Live-steams taken through Periscope will only be available for 24 hours, while the videos on Facebook can become a part of the user’s Facebook timeline. We’ll see which approach is more successful. It seems the war between social media sites might all be down to the battle over live-stream popularity.

That said, I think it’s time I get my cat ready for her close up! Facebook friends, prepare to be inundated!

(Image via Facebook)

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