Facebook Live, as a service, wasn’t always publicly available, and even came to Android later than other platforms. It’s still around now and is thankfully right at home on Android. The streaming service only keeps improving as time goes on, and there are multiple ways different for Facebook and Android users to take advantage of it.
If you’ve never used the service before, or just want to learn a little more about it; I’ll list all of the reasons why you’d want to give it a shot and show you how to make the most of it. From making your Facebook Live streams more professional to uncovering all of the service’s features, let’s go over some essential tips.
How to Open Facebook Live
Before you can get anywhere with Facebook Live, you need to open it first. When on your Android there are two different ways to open Live depending on your version:
- Tap the Live icon at the top of your News Feed to start.
- Tap What’s on your mind? And then the Live icon to open the streaming menu.
Then as long as you can maintain a constant internet connection, you’ll start streaming. Everyone that has you in your feed will see that you’re currently streaming and can tap to watch and interact with you while you record practically anything you want.
When you’re done streaming the video is saved to your timeline so anyone can see it even after you’re done broadcasting. Once a friend or anyone is watching your stream or a previous broadcast, they can subscribe to get a notification as soon as you start your next Facebook Live stream.
Now that know how to stream, what should you stream? If you need some ideas or just a gentle nudge in the right direction, we’ve got you covered.
Where to Start with Facebook Live Streaming
Whether you’re streaming for fun, for a specific audience, or a means to make a living; you always start in the same place. Sometimes when you’re starting out it’s hard to decide what you want to stream, so here are a few ideas to get you started if you can’t think of any.
1. Treat Your Stream Like a Vlog
One of the most relatable, and easiest things to stream is just your daily life. If you’re doing something you think is interesting, have a story to share, want to chat about life for a while, or just feel like shouting something into the void that is the internet; why not tap the Live icon and stream it to your Facebook friends?
Even if it’s just something as small as rambling to the camera, it’s fun to stream once you get used to being under the camera’s watchful eye.
2. Working on a Project You Can Talk About? Stream It!
This doesn’t necessarily apply to hobbies that I’ll mention later, but instead, applies to practically anything you’re working on. If it’s something you can share, it’s something you can stream.
3. Let Your Pets Have Some of the Spotlight
If you can’t think of anything to stream about yourself, what about your pets? This, of course, isn’t applicable to Android owners without pets, but if you have a dog, cat, or any animal at all under your care, turn the camera to them for a while and see where that goes.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I’d watch more live streams if puppies were involved more often.
4. Stream Your Hobbies to Let People Know More About You
If you have a hobby you think would be fun to watch, why not stream it? Streaming your hobby is a great way to get people involved in the process, and even get more people into one of your favorite pastimes. If you do it for long enough, you can even add streaming to your hobby list.
5. If You’re Going Somewhere New, Stream the Experience!
Traveling is always a great opportunity to show off some interesting sights, and while a picture is worth a thousand words, a stream is worth even more. Whether you’re streaming the journey or the destination, there are bound to be plenty of chances to catch something interesting on camera.
How to Improve Your Stream Quality
It’s pretty easy just to point your phone and say “Go!” when streaming, but if you’re looking to attract more viewers, it’s important to improve your quality levels. I don’t just mean recording at a higher framerate or resolution, but additionally improving your recording environment and equipment. It’s easier than you think, and won’t come anywhere close to breaking the bank.
1. Don’t Stream in the Dark
This one seems pretty obvious, but it’s a good idea to have plenty of light wherever you’re streaming. If no one can see anything, they won’t have much of a reason to watch. You don’t need to set up three different spotlights at separate angles, but if you’re at home, I will flip a light switch to make sure viewers can see what’s happening.
2. Connect a Microphone
Depending on your Android device, the microphone you already have has room for improvement. Thankfully, there are several different options, including using the OTG cable, it’s easy to add a microphone to use for Facebook Live streams.
It’ll be much easier to use a wireless mic instead of carrying around a clunky cable, but anything is better than most default Android microphones. You can find a decent mic upgrade for a pretty low cost like this one here:
They give you better sound and some noise cancellation when you’re outside recording.
3. Have a Plan Before You Stream
Spontaneous streams are sometimes just as fun as planned ones, but if you have a plan going forward, your streams will be much more consistent and easier to view. You don’t need to write a bulleted list every time you start up Facebook Live but have an idea in mind what you want to get across or share before you tap that Live icon.
4. Keep Your Shots Consistent
If you’re holding your Android while you record, make sure you aren’t shaking the camera all over the place. Shaky and blurry footage isn’t fun to watch, so if you want to keep anyone around for the stream make sure your hands are steady.
If you plan on having a long Facebook Live session, consider putting your Android in a stand to keep it upright and consistent. This can either be one that you buy, or just something to prop your Android against so your arms don’t get tired.
Even something like a selfie stick will help keep your camera steady while you stream, so don’t count those out!
How to Get More Viewers
Increasing the quality of your stream isn’t the only way to get viewers, and if anything, it only helps you retain them, not draw them in. Just like any other streaming service, the ways to get more viewers are more or less the same; you need to market yourself.
1. Give People an Advanced Notice Before Stream
While Facebook Live sends subscribers a notification when you start streaming, if someone isn’t subscribed, they’ll only see that you’re streaming on their news feed or your timeline. If you send out a warning or a notice message that you’ll be streaming soon, it’ll give any potential viewers a chance to get ready to watch.
Even if they don’t watch right away, putting the message out there at least lets people know that you occasionally stream, if not frequently.
2. Stream Consistently
There’s a difference between streaming consistently and streaming frequently, but streaming consistently frequently is the best of both worlds. In this case, even if you don’t stream frequently, if you at least stream on a consistent basis (once a day, twice a week, etc.) your viewership will grow.
Having a consistent stream means consistent viewers, which leads into my next tip.
3. Engage with Your Viewers
Like most streaming services, Facebook Live lets viewers interact with the stream and the streamer. If you keep your viewers engaged with conversation, answering and asking questions, and etc. more people will stick around until the end of a stream, and show up for the next one.
Streams don’t have to be one sided, so take advantage of that!
Where Do You Go From Here?
Now that you know all the basics about how to use the service, and what to do on it, everything else is left up to you. Facebook Live is a great platform to share experiences with your friends, reach a wider audience, or just share bits and pieces of your life in general. It’s a great way to use Facebook and a great entry point to streaming or recording.
If you’re still nervous about using the service or just aren’t comfortable with it yet; the more you use it, the more natural it’ll feel. If you want to get into using Facebook to stream, try setting a goal to stream something at least once a week. Before you know it, you’ll be streaming even more than that, and will have a great time doing it.
If you don’t believe me, give it a shot sometime and see how you like it. It’s a free service that only improves the more people take advantage of it.
That’s all you need to know to start using Facebook Live to the fullest. You’ll learn more as you get used to the service, and start interacting with viewers on your streams. It’s a great tool to connect more with friends, and even make new ones, so don’t be afraid to tap that Live icon.
If you need any help using Facebook Live, please ask any questions you have below!