Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) on Thursday rolled out its live streaming app, Mentions, for journalists and other verified users to help them share more of their work online on the social media. The iOS app released last year in June was until now accessible by only high-profile celebrities like actors, athletes, musicians and politicians with verified Facebook fan Pages.
According to Vadim Lavrusik, product manager for Facebook Mentions, the new change will now allow “thousands” of Facebook users who have verified accounts, including journalists, to use Mentions and connect with their fans. He said the company decided to open Mentions to journalists in order to better facilitate interactions.
The rollout means journalists can now use the Facebook Mentions iOS app to stream live footage to Facebook during breaking news events. They can now also report from the scene, host Q&A sessions, and connect with their followers more directly. The broadcast footage will show up in users’ News Feed. Just like with every other post, users can like and comment on these broadcasts, with an option to-replay it even after the live-stream is over.
Furthermore, Mention users can even search for currently trending topics and check what people have commented about them or any particular topic in real-time.
Facebook Mentions also allows users to choose their audience while sharing text, links, photos or something else.
“People love reading articles from and connecting with their favorite journalists and public figures on Facebook,” the social network announced in a blog post. “Today, we’re making Facebook Mentions and Live available to public figures with verified profiles to help them engage their followers and interact with their peers.”
“Whether you’re sharing text, links, photos or something else, Mentions lets you choose the audience you want to share with,” said Facebook. “For example, you can share a post so only your followers see it in News Feed.”
The profile verification feature is still only available to global businesses, celebrities, public figures and members of the media. To apply for your verification badge, fill out this form.
For verified users who don’t use iOS, Facebook also mentioned bringing the app to Android “soon.”