3 Ways to Do Facebook Live from a Computer
Interested in setting up a live video on your Facebook page? Since its initial launch in 2015, people have been using it to engage better with their audience. The cool thing is lots of business owners and thought leaders can now go live from their computers. They don’t even need a verified account to enjoy it. Here are 3 ways to do Facebook Live from a computer.
Things to Consider Before Going Live
Before anything else, it is good to understand that Facebook Live from a computer feature is not yet available to all countries as of this post date. Some may access it in all browsers, while some may access it only through select browsers such as Mozilla.
Whatever browser you’re using—and whether you’re using a desktop computer or a laptop, there are basically two sections in your Facebook page where you can create a live video. Make sure to follow along from your page as an admin to stay in step with this guide.
Two sections in your Facebook page where you can set up a live stream are:
1. Page tab
Click the pink Start a Live Video button under the status bar. It will immediately direct you to a preview of your live video, where you can say something about it, indicate your geographical location, or insert an emoticon.
Once you’re all set, simply click the blue Go Live button at the bottom right of the preview box. A 3-second timer still start, and you’ll soon see your video streaming live with the comments and views at the right.
Click Finish when you’re done, and a replay of your video will soon be available on your page timeline.
2. Publishing Tools tab
There are 5 tabs you should find right under the search box. The last one being the Publishing Tools tab. Click that, and click Video Library under Videos option at the left. It will show all the videos (live or not) that you published in your business or brand page.
To stream live, simply click the +Live button at the top right corner. It will then prompt you to create a live video. Facebook does not, however, have a streaming software—according to them.
What you can do is connect to a professional equipment or encoding software that will allow you to stream live. OBS and BeLive.tv are among the popular choices you can use.
There are also system requirements to consider. Among them are:
- Fast and powerful computer that can carry on a live broadcast
- Internet UPLOAD speed of at least 4 Mbps, which is equivalent to the recommended maximum bit rate of 4000 Kbps
- No ad blocking software or browser plugins enabled
If you cannot see the Start a Live Video button under the status bar, you can refer to your Publishing Tools tab to set up a live video.
Ways to Do Facebook Live from a Computer
There are basically three ways to broadcast live on Facebook:
1. Broadcast Directly from Your Facebook Page
Regardless of what type of page you have, you can head on to your page using the admin account and find the Start a Live Video button under the status bar. Simply follow the directions given above.
You wouldn’t have to open a software to start streaming. The Preview box will immediately show up, and it will stream live from your built-in or external camera attached to Facebook once you click the blue Go Live button.
2. Broadcast Using a Free Software
The most popular software right now is OBS. It’s available to Mac, Windows, and Linux. The other popular option, BeLive.tv, is only available to Mac users. To stream live via OBS, here’s what you need to do:
- Click the Publishing Tools tab in your admin page. It’s the last tab that’s available right below the search box at the top.
- Click Video Library under Videos option at the left. It will show all the videos (live or not) that you published in your business or brand page.
- To stream live, simply click the +Live button at the top right corner. It will then prompt you to create a live video.
- Once you see the Create Live Video prompt, copy the URL and Stream Key under Separate Fields. You can only use one key per stream, and you only have 5 hours before you decide to use it. (Make sure you already downloaded OBS from obsproject.com. It’s free and easy to use.)
Once you’re done doing the above instructions on your Facebook page admin, keep your account open and refer to your OBS software to do the following:
- Run your OBS software, and prepare it for streaming.
- Click Studio Mode to enable two screens on your software. The screen at the left is where you can crop, resize, or add layers to a scene. On the other hand, the screen at the right will then show the final output of the modifications you did at the left screen. (Note that a Scene in OBS is one segment of the video you produce. Meanwhile, a Source in OBS is what you want to show in your live video. For example, you can choose Display Capture as your source if you want to share your desktop or choose Video Capture Device if you want to show your face and background. You can have multiple sources for each scene, and just adjust the sources to match your preference.)
- Create a new scene by clicking the + button inside the Scenes box. Name your scene according to what you want to present. For example if you want to share a tutorial, you can name that scene as My Tutorial. You can create another scene if you want, and easily transition from one scene to another using the Transition button available between the two screens.
- After naming your scene, head on to the Source box and add a source for your video. Make sure to click the specific scene and source if you want to make adjustments. And, refer to the left screen always to make the necessary adjustments.
Now that your screen is ready, your next step is to tweak your settings to make it compatible with Facebook Live:
- Click Settings. From there, do the following: 1) Click Stream. Set stream type to Custom Streaming Server, and paste the URL and key you copied from Facebook. 2) Click Output. Set video bit rate to 2500 at the least and audio bit rate to 160. 3) Click Audio, and set sample rate to 44.1 khz. 4) Click Video. Set output resolution to 1280 x 720, and common FPS values to 30. 5) Finally, click Apply and click OK to close the settings box.
- For ease of transition—to avoid showing your OBS software while doing the live stream, use Hotkeys. To do this, simply go to Settings and click the Hotkeys option at the left. From there, you can set specific actions to any character you want. For example if you want to start streaming, you can type in number 1 as your shortcut. Or if you want to automatically transition from a scene to another without having to refer back to your OBS software, you can type in number 2 for your shortcut. Once you apply these Hotkeys, you can stream seamlessly without referring back to OBS.
- Now, you’re all prepared to broadcast. Click Start Streaming, and OBS will start connecting to your Facebook page.
It’s that easy! When you’ve done all those in your OBS software, return to your Facebook page that has the SAME Create Live Video box still on and click the blue Next button. You will then be directed to a preview of your video, where you can also indicate some words to say, your location, video title (maximum of 255 characters), and others.
You’ll know when you’re ready to go live when a you can already see your video in the preview. Simply have patience as it may take time for your software and account to connect. Once the video is visible, you’re all set to do Facebook Live from a computer.
Only remember to click the Go Live button to start streaming. You can also schedule your broadcast if you want to.
3. Broadcast Using a Premium Software or Hardware
If you want more features and perhaps a more convenient way to do Facebook Live from a computer, you can use a premium software or hardware to broadcast. They come with different instructions on how to connect to your page.
Simply make sure they support RTMP or RTMPS. Among them are:
- Ecamm (for Mac only) – $29.95
- Wirecast – prices start at $495
- Webcaster X1 for Facebook Live – $320.95
But, you can choose free software if you don’t have the budget. Among those recommended are:
A New Way to Connect with People
Doing Facebook Live from a computer unlocks a more intimate way of connecting to a variety of audiences. It’s a good feature that you can enjoy to reach out to more people and attract them with your personality.
With live video, you can do a screencast, a webinar, showcase a live band, or do any other activities you can think possible. Creativity is key. There’s no telling where your imagination can lead you.
As you consider the options you have available, think about how much your budget is and how much time you’re willing to dedicate in learning the software of your choice. You can start with a free software or even just stream directly from your page, but you can end up frustrated and confused if you don’t have the patience to really learn how to use it.
There’s truth in the saying, what works for one may not work for others. You might be in a country where this new feature isn’t available yet. But, don’t worry because Facebook is said to be trying their best to make Facebook Live from a computer available to more people.
Waiting may not be that fun, but you will be happy to realize it was worth your time and patience.
Let us know how the 3 Ways to Do Facebook Live from a Computer worked for you! Visit us at: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to leave us a rating and review. We would love to hear from you!