Celebrities live the good life. They get the best tables at restaurants, free swag and access to some Facebook features before anyone else, like Facebook Live. And now they’re getting access to Live features that won’t be made available to normal people using Facebook.
Facebook will let people using its Mentions app — which is only available to users with verified accounts, like celebrities and other public figures — cut the beginning and end of their Live broadcasts after the live stream ends but before the on-demand version is made available, the company announced on Wednesday.
The feature, which will roll out sometime “in the coming weeks” but is already available for some Mentions users, is one of several that Facebook announced for Mentions users, and it’s only for Mentions users. Facebook has no plans to make these new features available to regular Facebook users or Page owners that don’t have access to the Mentions app, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
As Facebook spelled out in a blog post announcing the feature — one of several being announced — the ability to trim the recorded broadcast will let people “create a more polished viewing experience for audiences who watch a live video after it airs.” It makes sense that celebrities putting forward their best selves would want that ability. But it makes less sense that Facebook doesn’t think non-celebrities would want it as well, especially since it could make them more comfortable about going live.
Going live can be daunting. It’s like staring at a blank page but with other people staring back from the page. Some of those people see you right now while you’re trying to fill up the page. They know that you’re live and are okay with watching you warm up. It’s part of the live viewing experience, and the comfort of knowing that helps you find a rhythm after a minute or so spent setting up your shot and thinking out loud about what your stream should be about.
But then there are the other people, your friends who didn’t tune in during the live stream but can watch the recording of it. You want them to watch because you think they’d enjoy it after about a minute in when you catch your groove, but you’re not sure they’d stick around through the initial throat-clearing. If only you could keep their attention until then. If only you could fast-forward them to that point. But you can’t. You’re not a celebrity.
If you are a celebrity or someone with a verified Facebook profile, Facebook is giving you other features beyond the ability to trim your Live recordings.
Mention users can sanitize their broadcasts’ comment streams by blacklisting certain words or phrases that will be filtered out of the comment feed. They can also have the people who work with/for them — their “teams” — put together drafts of a Live broadcast’s description ahead of time that the celebrity can look over before starting the stream. And Facebook is also giving Mentions users ways to keep a better handle over the live stream’s quality. The company is adding an “adjustments tray” that can be used to tweak the picture’s brightness, switch to a horizontal or vertical frame and pick whether to mirror the shot so that a logo or other text doesn’t appear backward to viewers. And Facebook is testing a “broadcaster status bar” with a limited set of Mentions users to check their audio quality, wireless or internet connection and battery level while live.