Facebook has unleashed a plethora of new features this past month including “topics to watch” and best of all- live video! It’s part of an aggressive attempt to get users watching and creating live video content on the social network to compete with Snapchat and Periscope.
Online live streams have been around for more than a decade, they’ve never been as easy to shoot or view on a platform as massive until now.
How will this change life as we know it for digital marketers? The company is building a video portal that will soon collect live content from friends and personalized topics of interest on a single page in its mobile app. Live videos will also be attached to some trending topics soon.
Marketers will be able to pull and analyze stats about how many people watched it live, as well as mine other engagement metrics.
Facebook also started to roll out a major update to Live, adding a dedicated Video tab to its mobile apps, integrating live videos into groups and events and more. This will make a huge impact for brands that are driven by social events like Redbull, GoPro, Adidas, and Budweiser. This has already changed the game this past week with events like Coachella.
The Live API will soon be available for developers and brands to integrate live streaming into other third-party apps and devices competing with YouTube’s relationship with GoPro amongst others. Facebook Live is partnering with Mevo, a live streaming camera built by Livestream. Drone maker DJI will bring Live support to its Phantom drones with a software update in the coming weeks.
YouTube is fighting back with 360-degree live stream video launching this week. This will only give brands more opportunities to develop content for platforms such as virtual reality, as explored in a previous Anvil blog. This will free brands to experiment and reach a whole new audience and levels of engagement. Here is an example:
The two massive social networks both are preaching the storytelling aspect with YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan saying, “What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experience to everyone.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, mimics that and said, “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”
With recent years of social content being primped and filtered (and at times nearly unrecognizable) by users on Snapchat and Instagram, this live video and content will now give users and brands both a chance to be raw, personal and unfiltered again, with the hopes being that brands can show their true selves and become more human to their consumers.