Facebook is launching a new feature for webmasters to post a stream of relevant Facebook updates in real time.Today,
The new feature, called a Live Stream Box, can run on sites "next to live streaming videos of concerts, speeches, sporting events, webcasts, TV shows, presentations, or webinars," according to an announcement we received via email. "Sites can also run the Live Stream Box in multi-player games or with any other experience where many people are visiting a website at the same time."
According to a new post on the Facebook developer blog, the team at Facebook began testing this feature during the 2009 presidential inauguration, when they ran real-time status updates and comments alongside streaming video on CNN's website. They then implemented the feature for other events that generally cause a real-time traffic spike in microblogging and live video content, such as the NBA All-Star Game and the Academy Awards.
This feature can now be added to any website where real-time UGC and user interaction are desired. According to the blog, "Users log in using Facebook Connect and share updates that appear both within the Live Stream Box and on their Facebook profiles and in their friends' home page streams. Each post includes a link back to the Live Stream Box on your site so users can discover the live event and immediately join based on their friends' recommendations."
The feature, Facebook says, is built to scale; they anticipate certain sites or events having so many real-time updates that not all users will be able to view or absorb all the content in the stream.
Developers and site owners can visit Facebook's Live Stream Box page to learn more. For websites that don't require real-time user interaction, Facebook still recommends their Comments Box, released earlier this year. The Comments Box also allows users to connect through Facebook Connect, but content generated is archived, asynchronous, and searchable.