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Facebook Brings Live Video Broadcasting to Social VR

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Janko Roettgers
© Provided by Variety

Facebook is more closely integrating its social VR efforts with Facebook proper, starting with video streaming: Users of Facebook Spaces, the social hangout in virtual reality that the company launched earlier this year, can now broadcast via Facebook Live.

The new feature essentially allows Spaces users to host a kind of virtual reality talk show, and stream it to all of their followers, even if those audiences are tuning in with a mobile phone or a desktop browser.

Facebook Live is being integrated into Spaces with a virtual camera, which can capture all the things that are already possible in Spaces. This includes looking at regular and 360-degree videos, drawing with virtual markers, and having video calls to add Messenger users to the conversation.

Users can also interact with their audience via Facebook Live comments, just as they would be able to with a regular Facebook Live broadcast.

Adding live video streaming to Spaces makes a lot of sense for Facebook. The audience for Spaces is still limited, as few users already own one of the Oculus Rift VR headsets necessary to use Spaces. But with Live integration, Spaces users can reach a much broader audience, and also give non-VR users an idea of what the technology is capable of.

Facebook first previewed Spaces at its Oculus Connect developer conference last fall, and then publicly released it at its f8 conference in April.

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