All you need to live stream on Facebook is your smartphone and an Internet connection. But the results are pretty basic. Using streaming software, such as OBS, can really lift your A-game. Facebook Live with OBS gives you the power to embed video and audio files, use several cameras, and overlay images.

Sounds cool? Continue reading, and we’ll teach you how to do that and much more.

What is OBS?

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free, open-source streaming and recording software. You can download it at OBSProject.com free of charge. It’s available for Mac, Linux, and Windows computer systems. You’ll also find many helpful blogs and guides on their website, such as where to get your OBS stream key.

When you first install it, you will be asked if you’d like to optimize the software for live streaming or recording. That’s because it can mix various audiovisual sources into a live production environment. It also supports many different plugins to help extend its functionality.

One popular OBS plugin is VirtualCam. This allows you to connect any video inside OBS to another camera using a virtual webcam source. It also has a plugin that adds support for Network Device Interface (NDI). This allows several video systems to communicate with one another over IP in real time.

OBS is a versatile piece of software. You can use it together with basically every known live streaming platform. This includes YouTube Live and Facebook Live. For a free software, it’s pretty powerful. That’s why many live streamers around are using this.

By using OBS, you get:

Multiple cameras

Streaming directly from your desktop or mobile is the most straightforward way to broadcast. But it only gives you one image recorded from a single angle. Wouldn’t it be great if your streams cut from one angle to another? OBS lets you do just that.

It also allows you to display any open window on your screen to your audience, from your blog to pages on your website. You can even show them how to order from your online store. It also makes playing a pre-recorded video in the middle of your stream easy.

Multiple sounds and microphones

OBS allows you to use more than one microphone at the same time. This is an awesome feature if you have more than one person talking, such as when you’re doing a live interview. You can also play some background music during your stream.

More control

OBS gives you more control over your video stream. It allows you to easily correct the picture color, add screen filters, or control the audio volume.

Being an open-source software, it doesn’t have dedicated support. But it’s supported by a large community of developers all over the world. You can post questions on the forums page on OBS’ website. It’s not ideal when looking for a solution to a problem, especially if you’re not that tech-savvy. But it’s better than nothing.

What is the Stream Key for OBS?

A stream key is a unique alphanumeric string. Live streaming platforms use this to identify your incoming streaming when using a third-party streaming encoder. It’s also often used for security because it’s hard to find or guess randomly. Facebook Live is a good example of a streaming platform that uses stream keys.

Stream keys are often for single-use only. They’ll also expire within 24 hours if not used. This means, once it expires or the stream is over, you’ll need to generate a new stream key if you want to go live again. But some platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to use what’s called a persistent key. This type of stream key can be reused many times. This can be quite useful if you have to stop and continue the stream for some reason.

The stream key for Facebook Live can either be single-use or persistent. It depends on your needs and preferences. Keep in mind that reusable stream keys offer lower security. If your persistent stream key gets accidentally leaked and you don’t change it, all your future streams are at risk of getting hijacked.

How to Live Stream with OBS

This is how you set up OBS settings for Facebook Live.

  1. Download and install OBS
  2. Get your Facebook stream key.

    Follow these steps to know where to find your Facebook stream key.

    a. Navigate to your Facebook, Event, Page, or Group via your web browser.

    b. Click Publishing Tools at the top of the page, then Videos, then +Live. The live stream configuration will appear.

    c. Copy the stream key and click Next.

  3. Open OBS and click Settings.

  4. Click Stream.

  5. Select Facebook Live in the Service drop-down box, then click Okay.

  6. Add your sources and scenes to set your stream on OBS.

  7. Click Start Streaming.

  8. Go back to your Facebook Live window. By now, you should see and hear a preview of what’s being broadcasted in OBS. Nope, you’re not yet live. You still have time to compose yourself and fix your hair.

  9. Click Go Live once you’re ready to start your broadcast.

  10. Once you’re done, go back to your OBS screen and click Stop Streaming.

Tips for a Great Facebook Live Stream

Here are some tips to help you get started with your Facebook Live streams.

1. Promote before you stream

Promote. Promote. Promote. We cannot stress that enough. There’s a reason why big brands never stop promoting their products or services, even if they’re already well-known.

Post about your live stream at least 48 hours before your broadcast on different social media platforms. Get your content out there. Entice people to watch your show.

2. Timing is everything

How you time your live streams will dictate how much traffic you get. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what the right time is. It all depends on your target audience. Get to know them, their schedule, and their habits. This will help you avoid going live when your target viewers are asleep or at work.

3. Engage with your audience

Facebook prioritizes videos that inspire person-to-person or friend-to-friend interactions. As a result, these kinds of videos tend to get more distribution. Make sure to create content that sparks meaningful conversations within your online community. Actively moderating and responding to live comments can help keep your audience engaged.

To drive healthy engagement, you can:

  • Say hello to your commenters and mention their names. This will tell them that you see them.
  • Bring audience comments or questions into the broadcast. Respond to them on air whenever possible.
  • Find some great comments and pin them to the top of the chat. This will encourage your audience to leave relevant comments.
  • Encourage event participants (if any) to interact with the audience via live chat.

4. Go live often

The number one rule for engaging your community is to post updates on your page regularly. The same rule applies to live streaming. The more often you go live, the more people will notice you.

And the longer you’re live, the more chances people will discover and share your stream. Plus, Facebook prioritizes streams that are longer than three minutes. Of course, the content has to be something that inspires people to watch. Even if you stream for three hours, if your content is boring and useless, no one’s going to watch you.

5. Smile and be energetic

Nobody wants to watch a live event host who looks like they just ran out of batteries. Be as energetic as you can during your shows. Charm your audience with your thousand-watt smile.

Takeaway

Live streaming via a software encoder is not as easy as going live from your smartphone or desktop. But it gives you more control over your stream. So if you want to really want to give your viewers the best show ever, going the extra mile is so much worth the effort.