Facebook adds private chat to Live videos to avoid the crowds

Joining in on a popular live video on Facebook can be a fun way to feel part of a broader online community, but it can also subject you to a myriad of inane comments, which are often too crowded to make any sense of in the first place. Starting today, Facebook is giving you another option: watching Live videos privately with your friends.

The creatively-named Live Chat With Friends is precisely what it sounds like. Instead of trying to sift through a bazillion comments – Facebook says people comment on Live videos ten times more than regular ones – you can simply enjoy it in peace and quiet while conversing with a few of your pals. You can invite both friends who are already watching the stream or others you think may be interested.

And to be clear, this is a new feature for public live broadcasts – you’ve always had the option to share your own live videos privately with friends.

Meanwhile Facebook is also adding a new ‘Live With’ feature that allows you to invite a friend into your stream so you can hang out right on your broadcast. In order to invite someone, pick a guest from the Live Viewers section. They can join in either in a picture-in-picture window or in a side-by-side frame.

Live Chat With Friends is being tested on mobile devices in “several countries” and will roll out broadly later in the summer. Live with is available on iOS now for all profiles and Pages – no word on an Android implementation just yet.

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