Can Facebook Live See Me? Privacy Q&A

facebook live
Facebook Live is a gift for broadcasters looking to grow their audience, but don’t count on getting familiar with all your viewers.

That’s because Facebook Live does not disclose personal information of your viewers unless they are your Facebook friends. This may seem strange for a social network dedicated to making “the world more open and connected”. However, privacy concerns may place limitations on what information is publicly available.

Microsoft manager and Facebook Live blogger Geva Telem shared some insight with Heavy on what information gets shared from viewers.

Can You See Who Watched Your Facebook Live Video?

During a Facebook Live session you will be notified which of your friends watches your video. You cannot see who else is watching unless they engage with your post.

Can You Know Who Subscribed to Your Facebook Live Videos?

Facebook does not provide data on who signed up for future notifications whenever you go live.

Will Anyone Know that I watched their Facebook Live Video After It Ended?

The broadcaster won’t know you watched the video after it has ended even if you are friends with him/her.

What Information Does Facebook Collect on Viewing Habits?

Facebook stores personal data to gauge how interested you are in a video. They may use this to help publishers target more engaged users, according to Telem. Publishers can also target specific demographics through their videos.

How Can You Choose Who to Share Facebook Live Videos With?

You can choose whether to share the video publicly or privately before going live. The options for sharing Facebook Live broadcasts are:

  • Public: Anyone on or off Facebook can see your video
  • Friends: Only share the video with your Facebook friends
  • Lists: Shares video with specific list of people created on web browser version of Facebook
  • Only Me: Only you can see the video

What Audience Stats Does Facebook Live Provide?

If you are broadcasting from a Business Page, Facebook provides general stats such as number of unique viewers, total audience reached and minutes viewed. However, broadcasting from your profile will only show you the total number of views said Telem.

How does Facebook Live Map Affect Privacy?

Facebook Live’s public broadcasts can be viewed across the world as the Facebook Live Map illustrates. The map works the same way as Twitter’ streaming tool Periscope. Viewers can see what cities videos are streaming from so don’t do anything stupid on camera.

What Live-Streaming App Provides the Best Privacy for Viewers and Broadcasters?

While Facebook allows you to share videos privately, other live streaming apps put a bigger emphasis on privacy. Former Facebook Live manager Vadim Lavrusik launched his own app called Alively, which limits who can watch your videos. Lavrusik told the Mercury News that Facebook lends itself to something like a popularity contest.

We don’t want this to be about people feeling like they have to perform or they’re putting on a show. It’s more about capturing everyday moments and sharing them live.

How about Periscope, Twitter’s Own Live-Streaming App?

Like Facebook Live, Periscope allows you to post video to your social media followers. However, Telem said that Periscope is more private because it highlights the private/public buttons before you go live.

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