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Facebook Testing Screen-Sharing Feature for Live Broadcast

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Facebook has been spotted testing a feature that lets you share your screen directly, in real time. The new addition gives Facebook users another reason to use its Live broadcast functionality and eliminates the need for any third-party software to share the screen on the social network. You need to install an extension on Chrome browser to start broadcasting your computer screen live.

As first spotted by Matt Navarra of The Next Web, Facebook Live has received a ‘Share Screen’ button to enable screen-sharing. Once you hit the button, Facebook prompts you to install the Chrome extension. It is worth noting here that the new development is yet to arrive on other Web browsers, including Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

Following the installation of the extension, the screen-sharing feature allows you to choose which content you would like to share. You can either share the entire screen or a Chrome tab or an application window.

Up until now, you were required to use third-party Open Broadcaster Software to broadcast your screen with Facebook Live. That option is still useful if you’d like to go beyond a simple screen sharing as the new built-in feature is currently quite limited.

Facebook’s screen-sharing feature does not allow users to stream webcam footage alongside the content available on the screen. Also, Open Broadcaster Software supports a list of browsers — more than just Chrome.

The initial test conducted by Navarra showed that the live stream through the built-in screen-sharing feature is not of high quality. However, this might be due to a poor Internet connection.

This is not the first time when Facebook has attempted to persuade users with its Live stream functionality. Debuted in April 2016, Facebook Live is taking on the live video stream feature of YouTube. The functionality was originally limited to celebrity users and was a part of Facebook Mentions. But with the growing demand for videos in the social media world, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company extended live-streaming support to PCs as well as mobile devices in the recent past.

In August this year, Facebook acquired German computer vision startup Fayteq. The acquisition would help the Menlo Park-headquartered company uplift its live-streaming functionality with online editing features.