Facebook Media

Scheduling a Live Broadcast Via the Live API

By Peter Roybal, Product Manager, and Brian Lin, Software Engineer

For a more in-depth look at scheduling a live video, check out this detailed walkthrough.

Since rolling out Facebook Live, we’ve seen incredible adoption and engagement with this new format. All types of publishers are using live video to share real-time stories and connect directly with audiences on Facebook.

Many publishers have told us they want to be able to schedule their live broadcasts so that people on Facebook can plan to tune in. This week we’re rolling out the ability for Verified Pages to schedule live broadcasts, starting with live videos published via the Facebook Live API. Verified Pages can visit their Publishing Tools section to get started scheduling a live video; a step-by-step guide is included below.

Scheduling a live video makes it easier to build anticipation and buzz with your audience before your broadcast begins, so you can start strong with an audience already assembled. When you schedule a live video, an announcement post will be published to News Feed letting your fans on Facebook know that the broadcast is coming. People who see the post can opt in to receive a one-time reminder notification that will alert them shortly before your broadcast begins. Your fans can then join a pre-broadcast lobby directly before the live video starts, where they can connect and interact with other viewers.

You can schedule a live broadcast up to one week in advance, and people can join your lobby three minutes before your broadcast begins. Once you’ve scheduled a live video, you will be able to share a link to the broadcast or embed it in other places, such as websites or blogs.

Starting Thursday, Verified Pages will be able to schedule videos from the Live API via Publishing Tools. We’ll be rolling out scheduling to all Pages on Facebook in the weeks to come. If you use a third-party tool to go live, we’ll soon be making scheduling features available for developers.

Update 11/22/16: All Pages on Facebook can now schedule videos from the Live API via Publishing Tools. Developers building third-party tools to go live can also integrate scheduling features; for more information, including API documentation, check out our developer portal.

How to Schedule a Live Video

If you’re a Page Admin using the Facebook Live API, it takes only a few steps to schedule a Live broadcast.

1. Navigate to Publishing Tools

Once you’re in Publishing Tools, select “Video Library” and then “Live.”

2. Copy your stream credentials (e.g. steam key, Server URL)

If you need to find the credentials closer to the time you’re going live, they are also available by editing the post in Video Library.

3. Craft your announcement post

Be sure to write an engaging and informative description so your followers know what to expect from your broadcast. You will be able to update the description later if you want to.

4. Finalize your scheduled live broadcast

Put any finishing touches on your post (such as adding a custom image) before you schedule your broadcast.

For a more in-depth look at scheduling a live video—including tips on how to switch to“manual mode” and change your scheduled broadcast—check out this detailed walkthrough