Facebook continues to update and roll out the ability to share your screen with 1 other guest when live on Facebook. Initially, this “interview-style” Live format was available to iOS users only and required you to hold your iPhone vertically. What viewers saw was more of a picture-in-picture format or something you’d see when you use FaceTime. More recently, the mobile experience of inviting a guest to your Facebook Live broadcast has changed, allowing you to hold your phone horizontally, in landscape mode, with some additional special features we’ll highlight below.
TIP: If you want to test out Facebook Live at any time, create a Friends List with just 1 other person. I did this with Ronda of BellaV Marketing 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 tech hiccups or coming across as less than the pro you are during your test runs.
How to Invite a Guest to your Facebook Live Broadcast
When you begin your Live broadcast – no matter if you are going Live on your iPhone, on desktop, or on your Profile, Page or Group – you’ll need to add some text to the Live post before clicking to go Live. This screen is the same if you are holding your phone vertically; just a different orientation of icons.
You have a choice to allow viewers of your Facebook Live to request to join you as a guest. In the same screen, you can choose to invite Friends or Group members to watch.
If a Facebook Live broadcast you are watching allows guests to ask to be invited to the Live broadcast, viewers will see a notification like this.
Once you are live and have at least 1 viewer, you’ll start to be shown notifications from Facebook naming Group members (if going Live in a Facebook Group) or 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.).
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.
Tap on a viewer with a green circle to invite them to join you as a guest on your 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.
The guest you invited to join you on your Facebook Live broadcast sees the notification below. Note: If you, as a guest, are holding your phone differently than the host, there will be a notation near the bottom that indicates you need to rotate your phone in order to join the broadcast.
As mentioned above, Facebook Live with a guest has a very “FaceTime” look to it when your phone is held vertically. Ronda and I previously tried this orientation, which you can see below.
Now with the horizontal option, it’s truly a split screen type of view.
Note: Special features like wearing hats or giving yourself a Snapchat-style filter are all available as the host. You can also write on your side (host side) of the screen.
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?
*Post updated 11.5.17
Whoa! This is awesome. Thanks for the heads-Up. Until now, I was using BeLive but, discovered when doing so FB would not look for people to populate my broadcast. That’s no good for my marketing. Questions (do you mind if I ask two)?
1. If I set up a business page (to use the desktop version) what’s the best way to get my ‘Friends’ and other members (in my private FB groups) to watch the broadcast, on my business page?
2. What will the public (viewing the interview broadcast) see (the host on the smaller or bigger screen)?
If you go Live from your desktop, you can preschedule it. Doing so will send out a post into the News Feed that says you will be going live at a certain date and time, and people can click to get a reminder for that broadcast once you are live. Currently, there isn’t a Live scheduling feature like that on your smartphone but the iPhone gives you the ability to bring on a guest. People will see the host as the primary and the guest in the smaller window (with the way Facebook is currently doing things). You know Facebook…always changing! Hope that helps!
Hi. I have a FB page called That’s Inappropriate. I am not verified and at this point when I go live and I attempt to add live viewers I am not allowed. I am categorized as a public figure, my page is a fan page. Can I add live viewers? I would love to be able to use this feature. Thanks, Meredith
Hi Meredith! Are you trying to go Live on desktop or mobile? And are you seeing any profile pics and names pop up on your screen?
How do you keep a guest on longer on Facebook live. Only lets the guest stay on a short while. I would like to keep my guest on longer to extend content.
Hi Chris! How long was your guest on? Did you or your guest have any connection issues? I haven’t come across a guest time limit at all.
I can’t get this to work. Trying to do this on a page I manage
Hi Heidi! Are you going Live from your phone? Are you seeing boxes, faces, and green dots of your viewers? Thanks!
Can the Host who is doing the Facebook live presentation actually see the viewers live on video, or does the Host just see the viewers’ Facebook profile picture?
Hi Karen! Once you bring on a guest, you can see the guest. Until then, you’ll see the profile photos of viewers who you can bring on (they’ll have the green dot if they are invitable).
How can they get a green dot? Why would someone not be invitsble ?
If they aren’t on a device that can be invited, they won’t have a green dot. They can still watch you, but they can’t be brought on as a guest. They will need to be on mobile, for sure, for a green dot.
Weâ€™ve been having issues trying this. Both ARE on mobile and are rotated the same way, but no green dot and we get the alert â€œcannot bring X on camera.â€ Any thoughts as to what might be wrong?
Have you tried with both people being the one to initiate the live and inviting the other person? If there’s not green dot, that person isn’t going to be available to invite. Perhaps it’s one or both phones that won’t accommodate it? Also, are you trying to invite a Profile to join another’s Profile, or are you trying to act as Pages (either one or both)? Currently, Pages can’t invite like Profiles can. Thanks!
I have an ipad MD510LL/A and I can go live from my business page and group page but I can’t invite or respond to comments. I tried with one friend coming on and commenting but there was no way to comment or invite others. Can you help with this?
Do you have a smart phone you can try this with? The way Facebook rolled out the guest inviting was on smart phones. Yes, that sounds right about comments. It varies depending on device and if you are using a 3rd party tool for your Facebook Live, but what most people do is have a second device open to see comments that way. I have a Mac and love eCamm live, and it actually shows you comments on your screen so you can see them in real time. Hope that helps!
Hello! Tried to follow steps and it said canâ€™t add â€˜annaâ€™ to broadcast – also she did not have the green video icon ? What would the reasons be ? Trying to beoadcast from my business Facebook page ? Thanks
Are you on mobile and is the person you want to invite on mobile? If one or both of you are on desktop, it will not work.
My friend and I used this in a group and everyone could see both of us but could only hear me.( I invited her to join if that matters.) However if she went live single screen , her sound worked. Suggestion?
Thanks really strange. I can’t think of why that would be. Your friend wasn’t using any type of external mic, was she? Were you using any type of 3rd party tool to go live together? Sometimes the sound problem lies in the setup with someone unintentionally muted or not switching audio source. Thanks!
Is there a way for a guest to not have the interview on their homepage?
Hi Karen! The guest will have the video reside in the “Videos of You” tab of the Videos section. Of course, FB puts this type of activity in the feeds of a person’s Friends, too. Thanks!
Can you invite 2 people to join your live feed or just 1 person?
At this time, you bring on 1 person at a time. Once your first guest leaves, you can bring on another though. Thanks!
I’m having trouble with some of my guests. They all don’t have the “ADD” button or the camera beside them, why is that? Is something in their settings?
Yes, that’s correct. If they are watching on a device that can’t be invited, you won’t see the green camera button/be able to invite them.
Hi E R Team
I tried to do a Facebook live video and followed all the steps.
However when the person I inivted tried to accept the invitation it kept saying “Person declined”
We tried several times and got the same result.
Is it something in their settings? I did a Facebook live video with a friend last week successfully but had trouble this week…any help is appreciated!
It sounds like your most recent attempt was a different person than your first, successful attempt. Is that true? It does matter what device each of you is on. So, the invitee did see an invitation appear on their screen? Did that person’s profile photo show up on your screen with a green dot on it? Did the invitee try turning his or her phone sideways/vertical? There’s a small, subtle note on the invitee’s screen that directs them to turn the phone in the same direction as the host’s phone. Thanks!
Can I invite another Facebook Page to my Facebook Live that Iâ€™m broadcasting from my Facebook Page? Can a page view a Facebook Live broadcast? Cheers
Hi Bruce! At this time, you invite people and not Pages to Live broadcasts. Who knows – maybe that will change at some point!
Is there something special that needs to occur when inviting someone in a different country to participate in your livestream? We have never been able to do this successfully. Get the “you’re invited” message but can never join.
Hi Myra! Do you know if that person who is in another country has been able to go live themselves or join lives from others within their same country? I personally have joined a live as a guest while in the US, invited by a friend in England, so it is possible. But I’m curious to know more about what has worked for you for lives.
My friend is doing a live show thus even8ng and has just asked me if l could share it with our group whilst she is on and wondered if this is possible. Iâ€™m not that techie with these things so any help would be appreciated please?
If the Live video is set to Public (vs. Friends only, etc.), you can share the Live post just like you’d be able to share anything else that’s a Public post on Facebook.
I have tried to join my friends live videos many times but my camera button or add option doesn’t shows to them. I reinstalled my Facebook app but even then it didn’t worked. Can you please help me in this regard. Thanks
Hi Abdul! Are you on mobile while they are trying to invite you? If you aren’t showing as someone who can be invited, there’s something with your setup that’s preventing that from happening.
Do you know how to turn off the microphone for one personâ€™s phone on the live stream? I do Facebook live cooking demos and I tried using my husbandâ€™s phone as a second camera, but there was so much reverb that I could not use it. My guess is it was because both phones were picking up the sound at slightly different times. I did turn down the volume on one phone, but that did not help. Any ideas?
No, I’m sorry, I don’t know if that would even be possible.
I want to add someone to live with me, but when I do it says that all their friends can view. How do I add someone to join me in my live broadcast without allowing their friends (audience) to view?
Hi Kirsten! If you are trying to set this up so it’s only you and your friend (and no one else can see it), you can create a Friend list with only your Friend in it, and then select that Friend audience for your new post before going live from your Profile. But if this isn’t the case, there isn’t a way to only restrict her audience. It’s much like any other FB post in how it works…if your Friend has some type of activity on the platform, FB may show that activity on the News Feed of your Friend’s Friends.
Hi, our company page has a Facebook Live where we invited a guest. This guest needs to now deactivate the Facebook profile they used to join as a guest. Will that affect the Facebook Live? We’re afraid to try it and have it affect the hour-long Facebook Live.
Hi Melissa! The video will reside on the Page or Profile that “hosted” it. So as long as your Business Page is the one who created/initiated the Live video and you see it in your Video Library/in your video section, you will still have that video once that guest deactivates his or her profile.
Thank you! 🙂
I cant add anyone into my lives, it tells me connection failed, not sure what that’s about
If you are getting a “connection failed” error, it sounds like a WiFi/internet connection issue. Are you booted off the Live when that happens?
Hi, I also tried this. I live in Dubai and it will not connect with anyone. I have even tried my own personal page in case it was an issue with the page. It does not kick me off when this message comes up – it just will not connect.
So, do you get indications that there are people you can click to bring on as a guest, and you try to do so, but it won’t work? Or are you not even seeing the option to bring on a guest?
Hello!! I notice sometimes my contact have the camera icon to connect in facebook live broadcast, and then the icon disappear and I cannot invite my contact.
If your contact is dropping in and out of the broadcast, it may be the contact’s WiFi/connection on their end. Even if a contact is someone you don’t plan to invite as a guest, their icons showing they are watching should stay there as long as they are tuned in to your broadcast.
Thank you for the answer. Conexión Wouk be an issue. How can I tuned into my broadcast if the camera icon on the contact doesn’t appear, I couldn’t even invite the contact. What can I do? Thank you for your help!
If the person you want to bring on doesn’t have a strong connection, you won’t be able to bring them on the broadcast. Has your contact tried switching to WiFi or changing locations?
I am not verified and at this point when I go live and I attempt to add live viewers I am not allowed. I want t o go live and invite my friends. but I never find viewer with a green circle to invite them. How can I get it?. Can I add live viewers? I would love to be able to use this feature. Thanks, suraiya.
Are you trying from your mobile phone? Verification is not required to go live and invite guests. Also, are those guests on their mobile phones? They will need to be for you to invite them. They’ll also need a strong enough connection to be invited.
I keep getting “Connection Failed”, all wifi/signal is good, and I see all options to approve them, it just says “Adding..” for a while, after which in 15 seconds it shows “Connection Failed” – no matter which guest I try to bring up.
I live in Turkey. Saw that another user from middle east had an issue with this.
Maybe geo has something to do with this?
I wish there would be an answer online, but there isn’t one.
I’m sure that’s super frustrating! I don’t know why that would as far as Facebook goes. It’s entirely possible it’s a geo thing like you said. I’m in the US and haven’t experienced that. Sorry I couldn’t help.