NEW YORK — Get ready for some interactive TMZ-like videos on Facebook.
The social network just launched “Live,” a live-stream feature for celebrities. Using their smartphones, high-profile people can broadcast live, directly to your News Feed.
You can watch all the Live broadcasts you want, but the only people that can use it to broadcast video are useres of the Facebook Mentions app, which is reserved for celebrities and public figures.
If you follow people like Serena Williams, Ashley Tisdale, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, or Martha Stewart on Facebook, you’ll soon start seeing notifications and News Feed posts about their broadcasts. They could be filming themselves on the red carpet somewhere, or behind the scenes on a shoot.
When you start watching, Facebook will tell you who else is watching, and you can comment and interact with the celebrities. If you’re lucky — they might write back.
If you miss a broadcast, you can go back to their Facebook pages to watch saved videos.
It was only a matter of time before Facebook released a live-stream video tool. Competitors including Google and Twitter have seen a lot of success with YouTube and the Periscope app.
Internet companies can charge more for ads that are tied to video because people have a reason to stay on a screen for longer periods of time. Live broadcasts can be even more valuable because they can draw in the most excited fans, which are worth more to advertisers.