The live-streaming wars that began this year with the unexpected popularity of Meerkat and continued with Twitter's launch of Periscope have a big new entrant. Facebook today announced the release of Live for Mentions, a feature inside its VIP-only Mentions app that allows big-timers to broadcast live video to their fans. As on Meerkat and Periscope, Facebook's version allows fans to comment on streams as they are happening, as well as showing the celeb how many people are watching them at any given time.
If there's an innovation here — or at a least a beat-your-rivals-to-the-punch — it's that Live publishes archived videos to the celebrity's Facebook page, allowing fans who missed the live presentation to check it out later. Facebook has lined up several celebrities to test the new app in coming days. Among them: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Serena Williams, Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaka, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart, and Michael Bublé. Sadly, they will all be doing separate streams, rather than doing one big one where they talk about hot issues of the day, The View-style.
Facebook Mentions is available on iOS for rich people. Basics should continue to use Meerkat and Periscope.