Broadcast Your Life with ‘Facebook Live’

With the continued rise in video advertising and the need for brands to further connect with their audience, both Meerkat and Periscope have recently been providing successful livestreaming video platforms. These platforms allow brands and users to upload video content, and respond to comments in real-time to create a more engaging experience. Witnessing their success, Facebook has decided to also jump into the live video streaming space to compete with its rivals.

Facebook launched its first livestreaming platform in August 2015 when “Facebook Mentions” was available to celebrities and large-scale brands with verified pages. This live broadcast feature was being used by high-profile celebrities such as the Rock and Serena Williams, who were able to view real-time comments from their fans for an interactive experience.

Facebook Livestream

Last week it was announced that a similar livestreaming feature, “Facebook Live”, is becoming available to select iPhone users in the U.S., with the intention to eventually roll out to the general public.

“No matter where you are, Live lets you bring your friends and family right next to you to experience what’s happening together.”
-Vadim Lavrusik & Thai Tran (Facebook Product Managers)

 How it works

  • A live video icon will appear in Facebook’s status update area. The broadcaster can choose their privacy setting for who can view the livestream. A description can also be added to further entice users to join the broadcast.
  • Broadcasters will then see names of those tuning into their stream and users can engage with real-time comments.
  • The video will be saved to the broadcaster’s timeline once the stream has ended.

So how does Facebook Live compare with similar livestreaming apps?

  • Permanency: Unlike Periscope which is live for 24 hours and Meerkat which deletes the live videos immediately, Facebook Live allows users to turn their live broadcasts into traditional videos. These videos are published in the broadcasters’ feeds and can be later viewed or shared. Of course, the option is still there if a user wants to delete the broadcast for any reason.
  • Accessibility: While Twitter’s Periscope is an entirely separate app, Facebook Live is integrated into the social media platform for easy access.
  • Revenue: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that they will “give a revenue share on a portion of the views to content owners”. This is a great way to provide Key Opinion Leaders (social influencers) with an incentive to share videos on the social network, competing with YouTube and other video content hubs.
  • Targeting: Users can push live broadcast notifications to friends and family or those who have recently interacted with a specific Page. Users can also subscribe to or follow live videos from specific connections. Unlike Periscope’s wide distribution, Facebook Live is intended for closer interactions.

With Facebook reporting 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users, it comes as no surprise that the social network is becoming video-centric and expanding their offerings. Facebook Live’s platform provides an exciting opportunity for brands to interact with their loyal followers in real-time and reach new customers. The new feature also competes with environments such as Snapchat, Twitch and Twitter, which promote real-time engagement.

For more details on Facebook Live, as well as information on the platform’s new Collages feature, view Facebook’s latest Newsroom post.

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