Facebook is making it easier to update your friends about your life in real time. With new features debuting in Facebook Live, the social network is enabling users to share moments instantly from their smartphones. Facebook Live initially launched last summer to a limited number of public figures and then became available to the broader public in the U.S. through Facebook's iOS and Android apps.
Now, users can go live through Facebook Groups and Events, broadcasting live video to members of the group or sharing live updates from events like birthday parties or weddings with those who can't make it.
The new feature is essentially "bringing a little TV studio" to users' pockets, Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox told "CBS This Morning."
For Cox, who has seen firsthand how unhappy people can be about even the slightest changes to Facebook features over the years, it was important that Live was rolled out "very carefully."
"We spend a lot of time on making sure that we're doing a nice job of educating people and introducing the product, to the experience in a new way," he said. "The really cool thing about Live is that everybody who's seen it so far, really, really loves it. It's an exciting experience for people who have tried it."
For instance, Cox said, as the father of an 18-month-old son, he uses the feature to share moments with friends and family near and far.
They can respond using Live Reactions, an array of emojis like those Facebook added to News Feeds earlier this year. Now, "Love," "Haha," "Wow," "Sad," and "Angry" can be selected to animate at the top of a video.
"There's something about being with somebody when something is happening that is really really powerful," Cox said. "We are also seeing a lot of people interacting and having question and answers with their friends or their fans in a new way."
And it's not just for sharing baby videos. One example Cox gave was of the live conversations that sprang up around coverage of astronaut Scott Kelly's recent return from nearly a year in space. "There's an astronaut named Scott Parazynski who's sort of uniquely qualified to comment on the return of Scott Kelly from space, because he's both a doctor and he's done a lot of spacewalks. So this is a a guy who was able to just show up, answer questions to people who were interested in, [like] what happens to the body in space?"
Sports also lend themselves to these kinds of live streams, Cox said -- although that doesn't mean Facebook will necessarily be a destination for watching the big game.
"We're really focused on sort of what athletes do sort of behind the scenes and more backstage scenarios. We had Manchester City yesterday going live doing goalie practice. The Texas rangers doing batting practice. So we're much more interested, especially for live and what's happening in sort of the more behind the scenes areas," he said.
Cox stressed that regardless of the kind of event, Facebook Live videos are meant to give users a vantage point they wouldn't get anywhere else.
"The thing with athletes specifically -- whether it's NFL athletes or baseball players -- to us, what's really interesting about this product is not what you see on TV, it's what you see that's not on TV."