By Jesse Chen, Engineering Manager, and Chris Hatfield, Product Manager

Facebook Mentions is an app that enables all kinds of public figures — including athletes, musicians, journalists, politicians, and more — to easily connect with their audience on Facebook. One of the ways public figures use Mentions is to share live video with their fans. We’ve been listening to feedback from this group on how to improve Facebook Live for Mentions, and today we’re excited to share a number of updates to make the experience more useful, enjoyable, and safe.

Before the Broadcast: Team Prompts & Comment Moderation

While many live broadcasts begin spontaneously, some public figures collaborate with their teams on ideas and themes for a broadcast before going live. With our new team prompts feature, a public figure’s team can create drafts of Facebook Live post descriptions, making it easy for the public figure to review and post via Mentions when going live. The team can also schedule reminders for a public figure to go live or publish posts from the Mentions app at a specific time, such as from an event.

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Live video on Facebook is social and interactive — fans can react to broadcasts, comment, and ask questions. This interactivity is one of the things that makes Facebook Live so engaging, but we know that public figures want more ways to help manage these comments. With our new comment moderation tool, people using Mentions can add words and phrases to a blacklist before they go live, which will prevent comments containing those words from appearing during the broadcast. This moderation tool can help make live broadcasts friendlier and safer for broadcasters and viewers alike.
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During the Broadcast: Status Bar & Adjustments Tray

To enable an enjoyable and seamless experience for both the broadcaster and viewer, we’re introducing new features to monitor and minimize friction throughout the broadcast.

We’re rolling out an adjustments tray to give people using Mentions more control and customization over how their broadcast appears to the viewer. Now, broadcasters can flip the camera horizontally or vertically, adjust brightness settings, and choose whether to mirror the picture or not. The mirroring setting is especially useful when the broadcaster wants to showcase certain text or a sponsor logo during a branded content broadcast.
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We are also testing a broadcaster status bar with a small group of people using Mentions. The status bar provides information about audio level, connectivity, and battery status while the broadcaster is live. These visual cues are located at the bottom of the broadcast and provide a useful overview of the status of the live video in real time — for example, the broadcaster could avoid unexpectedly ending the live video due to a dying battery. We’ll be listening to feedback and hope to make this feature available more broadly in the coming months.

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After the Broadcast: Trimming

Finally, we’re excited to introduce trimming, which lets people using Mentions trim excess footage from the beginning and end of their live video after the broadcast has ended. We know that it can sometimes take a few minutes for people to tune in or for broadcasters to field introductory questions from fans. Trimming gives public figures the control to create a more polished viewing experience for audiences who watch a live video after it airs.

These updates will be rolling out in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing these tools in action and hearing feedback from public figures using Mentions.