To say that my experience with live streaming from my drone via Periscope was a good experience would not be accurate, it was scary. Today I tried the same with Facebook Live and the whole thing was seamless and enjoyable to use – Facebook have really taught Twitter a lesson on product development with this one simple concept.

This won’t mean anything to someone who doesn’t fly a drone, you see the experience of using Periscope or Facebook Live as an individual with your smartphone is very similar.

Both offer an on screen live feed, where you can see comments, likes and viewer counts while you broadcast. Simple, easy to use and a direct 1:1 broadcaster experience with the audience.


As a drone pilot there are some very important things to me while I’m flying. Under the CASA regulations you are not meant to fly using the “FPV” (First person view) camera which is the screen on your iPad or Smartphone connected to the controller which shows in real-time the view from the drone camera, that screen is meant to allow you to align your video or photo shot perfectly, and perhaps most importantly glance down to see your battery status, GPS status, overall aircraft status and co-ordinates such as altitude, distance etc.

So using Periscope scared the crap out of me because I had none of that. Just a view from the camera and all the viewer comments streaming over the top of it.

This was why I was so keen to try Facebook Live streaming the moment it was announced.

Today I went to Sydney’s Narrabeen Beach, and took a nice flight over the waves and the ocean baths.

Facebook Live streaming was the simplest setup and configuration I’ve seen in some time – YouTube live streaming from your drone is quite complex to get happening as you need to enable it in your YouTube channel first.


For Facebook Live this was all done within the DJI App. Simple choose Facebook Live, authorise your account and off you go.


Once you tell it you want to go live you’re ready to go.


Perhaps critically, you can also choose the account or page you want to broadcast through. In my case I was able to use my “Trevor Long” page, but could easily have chosen EFTM or any other page I have administrative access to.

Give it a title, and you’re off and running.


Viewers on Facebook see the camera output direct wherever they are and can comment like any other Facebook Live broadcast.


Best of all, as a broadcaster, I’m able to choose if I want to stream the audio from my device – the audio comes from the iPad or Smartphone – and if I want to see the comments from viewers on my screen.


And if you do choose to see comments, they appear nicely in the top left corner of your normal flight screen.

This is chapter and verse a lesson for Twitter and their Periscope team on how to do Live broadcasting from a Drone.

Why Twitter launched without fully integrating their product into DJI’s app I just don’t know. Back to the drawing board for Twitter, ten out of ten for Facebook, this is fantastic, and we’re going to see some awesome live streams online!