Facebook has begun rolling out the ability to share your screen with 1 other guest when live on Facebook, to iOS users. Before this, inviting another Facebook user to join you – interview-style – on a Facebook Live broadcast required the use of a third-party tool. While you can also go live on your desktop, from your Business Page, and on non-iOS smart phones, the guest invitation functionality is limited to iOS smart phone users who are going Live from their Profiles at this time.

I was fortunate to join a couple other Facebook Live broadcasts as a guest before giving it a try myself. The challenge: you don’t know if you have this functionality without going Live yourself and giving it a try. When I tested it myself, I texted social media consultant and friend, Ronda VanBuren, to see if she wanted to test it with me. After that test run (including a couple snafus that you’d expect trying out something new like this for the first time), Ronda and I hopped back on Live at a later time in order to get screen shots of the process.

TIP: If you want to test to see if you have the new Facebook Live invite feature, create a Friends List with just 1 other person. I did this with Ronda and then went Live to that list of only her instead of an audience of all my Friends or Public. This approach helps if you are worried about inundating your Facebook Friends with test runs.

How to Invite a Guest to your Facebook Live Broadcast

Once you are live and have at least 1 viewer, you’ll start to be shown notifications from Facebook naming Facebook Friends of yours who are watching your Live feed (Since the screen shots used in this post were from a test with only Ronda as my audience, she was the only person available for me to invite.). 

Facebook Friends joining your Live broadcast as viewers

There is a bit of a lag on notifications that appear on your screen and to be able to invite another Facebook user who is watching, to join your broadcast. Once Facebook catches up with your live viewers, you’ll see a row of boxes at the bottom of your screen. Eventually, your viewers will begin to populate those boxes. If you can invite them to join your Live broadcast, they will have a green circle with a video icon showing in the top right corner, as seen below.

Available Facebook Friends to Invite to Live Feed

Tap on a viewer with a green circle to invite them to join you as a guest on your Facebook Live broadcast.

Inviting first guest on Facebook Live broadcast

Once you click to invite, you’ll get a notification near the top of your screen saying, “Inviting”, with your guest’s profile photo on the left and an X (should you need to cancel that invitation) on the right.

This is the view Ronda had on her end as someone being invited to join a Facebook Live broadcast as a guest. To join, she needed to tap the “Go Live” button.

In my experience, Facebook Live with a guest has a very “FaceTime” look to it. Ronda and I tried this process, from start to end, with holding the phone horizontally and vertically. I was not given the opportunity to invite her when I began my Live with my phone horizontally; I needed to start my Live with the phone held vertically for the invite feature to appear. Since this “Facebook Live with a Guest” feature is still very new, I’d expect it to continue to evolve into a true split screen experience.

If you plan to invite more than 1 person to your broadcast, you’ll have to uninvite your current guest from your live feed. I tapped the X that is above and to the left of Ronda’s head to remove her as my guest, freeing up the opportunity for someone else to join (if there were others on this test run.

Needless to say, the cross-promotional opportunities are nearly endless with this interview-style shared screen feature of Facebook Live.

How has your experience been? Have you hosted or been a guest on a Facebook Live yet?

About LizJostes (446 Posts)

Liz is a marketer, social media & online marketing consultant, speaker and mom. Originally from Chicago and currently living in the land of Dixie, she relishes in the flavor of fried pickles and BBQ, but longs for deep dish and a proper Chicago dog.


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