Want to know what people in Australia are doing while you’re at work? Or what the weather’s like in Portugal? Or what the club scene is like in the Philippines?
Well, you’re in luck: Facebook just made doing all of that a lot easier with its new Facebook Live video map.
Available via Facebook’s desktop site, the Live Video map shows you where people around the world are streaming public (but not private) videos via Facebook Live.
Streams are displayed as blue dots with larger dots indicating streams with the most viewers. Hovering over a dot instantly launches its corresponding stream and shows you where people around the world are watching. So, if you hover over a popular British Live stream like Sky Sports, you’ll see lines pointing to places like South America, Germany, Japan and a host of other countries.
Both the locations of streamers and viewers, however, are kept vague enough to protect their privacy. In fact, If you want to see streams from large cities like New York, for example, the number of streams coming from such a small area — combined with the map’s inability to zoom in beyond a set distance — makes it difficult to click on certain streams.
During my time using the Facebook Live Video map, the majority of streamers seemed to be eating, playing dance music, or sitting in class. Suffice it to say, not every stream you see is going to be interesting enough to watch for more than a few seconds.
Thankfully, Facebook lines the left side of the Live Video map with recommended streams from major media outlets and personalities. While I was perusing streams, I saw a live feed of Buzz Aldrin on National Geographic and a stream of a rabbit getting a checkup at the vet on The Dodo.
To be clear, Facebook’s Live Video map isn’t unique in the social media world. In fact, it’s fairly similar to the map provided by Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming app. Still, it’s a welcome addition to Facebook’s fledgling Live service — and is certainly worth checking out.
Just make sure you know when your stream is set to public.