Facebook Groups API

Meta to Discontinue All Third-Party Access To Facebook Groups

In January of 2024, Meta announced the release of Facebook Graph API v19.0. Unfortunately, this announcement also included a small note saying that they will be discontinuing the entire Facebook Groups API on April 22, 2024.

While no one has heard yet from Meta on why they’ve made this decision, we do know that when they move forward with ending the current Groups API, it will impact many helpful apps and tools, including Ecamm Live.

What This Means for Ecamm Members

Currently, you can use Ecamm Live to create or schedule a live stream in a Facebook Group. This means that you can leverage Ecamm’s many features, including the ability to connect multiple cameras, bring on Interview guests, feature comments on screen, add graphics and animations, and much more.

Starting on April 22, you will no longer be able to select a Facebook Group as a destination in Ecamm (or Streamyard, Restream, etc). Streaming to a Profile or Page will continue to work fine.

Here’s more from Meta on how to add or remove an app from a Facebook Group you admin. (Please note: this link only works on desktop).

You will continue to be able to use Ecamm’s custom stream key feature to go live into Groups, but Ecamm’s ability to automatically create, schedule, and end Group live streams, as well as the ability to retrieve live comments from Groups will no longer function.

Suggested Workarounds

While we completely understand how frustrating and nerve-wracking this can be for many of the Ecamm Fam, we do want to remind you that there are some options that you can look into now to ensure that you’ll be ready to go when changes happen in late April.

Here are some of our suggested workarounds.

Consider another platform instead of a Facebook Group

Unfortunately, Facebook is a “rented space” and none of us are in control of the updates that they make that impact our businesses. Given this fact, you may want to consider taking the opportunity to move your community to an alternative platform. Here are a few options:

Keep in mind that some of the above are free (like Discord) and some charge a monthly or annual membership fee.

Move your live streams elsewhere

You could keep your Facebook Group as is, but setup Facebook Events that point your members to a live stream happening on another platform like YouTube, LinkedIn, X/Twitter, or on a Facebook Page. This change is only affecting Facebook Groups. Consider whether your stream needs to be firmly restricted to just Facebook Group member, or if an unlisted or Members-Only YouTube stream could work instead.

Use Facebook Live Producer & RTMP

You could opt to use Facebook Live Producer, which would allow you to continue to stream to Facebook Groups. To do that, go into the group, create a post, and select “live video” from the menu. Facebook will then prompt you to choose between “go live” or “create a live video event.” Choose whichever works best for you.

Choose “streaming software” instead of “webcam” in Facebook Live Producer and let Facebook know the date and time and where you’re streaming to (your group, in this example). Continue adding the relevant information, including the title and description of your stream.

Make sure you copy the stream key and the server URL from Facebook Live Producer. The server URL will be under the Advanced Settings in the “Streaming Software Setup” section of Facebook Live Producer.

Now open up Ecamm Live and add a new destination. Choose RTMP. Give this source a nickname (like the name your Facebook Group, for example) and then paste in the server URL and stream key from Facebook Live Producer. Please note: your stream key will change with every stream unless you choose to toggle on the “persistent stream key” option in Facebook.

Back in Facebook Live Producer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve connected in your group(s) to promote.

At this point, you’re good to go. Remember, you will need to start the stream in both Facebook Live Producer AND Ecamm Live in order for it to show up into your group. You will not see any comments coming into Ecamm Live.

Using Facebook Live Producer & Ecamm’s Virtual Camera

In this option, you’ll want to follow the steps above, but rather than selecting “streaming software” in Facebook Live Producer, choose “webcam” and then select Ecamm Live Virtual Camera as your webcam. This will allow you to use most of Ecamm’s features. The only thing this won’t help with is featuring comments on screen.

Here’s more on Ecamm’s virtual camera (which is an Ecamm Live Pro level feature).

We Know You’re Frustrated… Hang in There!

Like you, we are frustrated by this decision from Meta and are eager for more information and answers. It’s still possible that Facebook could announce a new way for third-party tools to access Group live streaming. Unfortunately, in the meantime, we highly recommend that everyone assumes that this change will take effect in April. Please plan to change any strategies or programs that rely on Facebook Group live streaming.

We will continue to update you as we learn more about what this means for us all. We know how important live streaming into Groups is for our community and we will do everything possible to work with Facebook as they allow.

Hi there. I'm Katie. I'm a marketer and social media geek at Ecamm Network. I'm here to talk about live streaming and video marketing 📹.
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