Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Get New Video Features, Including Entry Fees for Live Events

Renders of the Purchase Access button for Facebook Live events.
Facebook

You may need to buy tickets for that upcoming Facebook Live concert. Facebook plans to add a ton of new streaming features to its Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram platforms, including the ability to charge viewers for livestream-entry or set up donate buttons for charities.

These new features should help people stay in touch while social-distancing, but they could also help creatives and professionals generate some much-needed income. Let’s get into the weeds.

New Facebook Video Features

Facebook’s streaming and video chatting tools are set to change dramatically over the next few weeks. The most notable changes will come to Live events. As we mentioned earlier, Facebook wants to give streamers the ability to sell tickets for livestreams, which might encourage musicians, coaches, chefs, and other professionals to pivot their creative energy to Instagram Live.

Creatives will have the option to mark their Facebook Events as online-only and broadcast directly to people who join the event. Facebook also wants to give streamers the option to create donate buttons for charities, and to host two-person livestreams through the Live With tool.

A render of Facebook Live With, the two-person livestreaming option.
Facebook

Of course, professional musicians and fitness coaches aren’t the only people who will profit off of Facebook. The company just released its Facebook Gaming app, which allows gamers to stream PC, console, or Android games to Facebook Live. The app will eventually support Live tournaments and could stand as a competitor to Twitch.

Along with these fancy new features for livestreamers, Facebook plans to add intuitive video chatting to its Messenger and Dating tools. Messenger Rooms, which are long overdue, will allow you to launch group chats from Facebook Messenger or Facebook Groups on mobile, desktop, and Portal devices. And if you use Facebook Dating, you’ll eventually see the option to go on Virtual Dates with the people that you meet.

New Instagram Video Features

A photo of Instagram's Co-Watching feature.
Instagram

Over the last month, Facebook has added a Co-Watching feature to its Instagram group chats and expanded its Instagram Live platform to the browser-based Instagram web app.

Now, Facebook plans to make one tiny, but very useful change to Instagram Live. In the past, Instagram Live streams would exist as an Instagram Story for up to 24 hours. But streamers will eventually have the option to upload completed livestreams to IGTV, where they will be available for re-watching at any time.

New WhatsApp Features

An illustration of WhatsApp's new 8-person chatting feature.
WhatsApp

WhatsApp, like other chatting tools, has ballooned in popularity over the past few months. But it hasn’t received many updates. The most notable change to WhatsApp came last month, when Facebook limited WhatsApp message-forwarding to fight COVID-19 conspiracies and misinformation.

Over the next few weeks, Facebook plans to add 8-person video and voice chat to WhatsApp. That’s double the number of people that WhatsApp allows for its live chats today and an incredibly useful update for families who use WhatsApp to communicate internationally.

Source: Facebook

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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