Facebook Live: Screen Sharing and Scene Switching with OBS Studio

Facebook Live is a very powerful tool for democratizing access to online video broadcasting, but until recently I thought of it as something you could only do from your phone. I knew some professional broadcasters had put on more elaborate productions, but I didn’t realize those techniques were within easy reach thanks to free open source software.

I first used screen sharing used by a mere mortal in a Facebook Live session while attending one of John Haydon’s weekly broadcasts and studying his technique. (SeeĀ Replay: Workshop on Facebook Live with John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies).

He pointed me to a Social Media Examiner tutorial on connecting the OBS Studio software to the Facebook Live service. That article does a great job of explaining all the detailed settings you need to get right for OBS and Facebook Live to work together. What I’m sharing below are the things I needed to figure out for myself as I considered how I would put these tools to work. In particular, the Social Media Examiner tutorial gives a passing mention to the ability to define different combinations of auto, video, and images as “scenes” in the OBS software and switch between them during the program.

That is what I explore in detail in this first video clip.

Going Live

To stream from OBS Studio to Facebook Live, you first obtain an API key code from Facebook and enter it into OBS.

Connecting Facebook Live to Streaming Software

Here is what that process looks like:

Important: If you will be looking at the audience view of your broadcast (as shown here) on another tab of your laptop, or on another device such as an iPad, be sure to mute the speakers (otherwise you’ll get a really horrible echo).

Another way of getting the link to your program is to schedule it in advance. Here’s how.

See also this tutorial document from Facebook.

Welcome to the Show

Finally, here is an example of the output that would result from the tutorial shown above.

 

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