While live streaming has been around for a number of years, the Twitter Periscope App released in 2015 was the first to really go social and take off. Facebook has now jumped on the live streaming band wagon and after a limited trial in the US with celebrity and “official” pages, the live streaming function has just been released to mainstream users.
When you go to update your status on your mobile device you will also have the option of recording and sharing live video.
While Periscope rightly takes on the Twitter model of mass broadcasting and allowing pretty much anyone to login and watch, the Facebook live stream approach is more intimate and targets only friends, followers and the like.
Once you “capture and share” your live feed, the live feed will stay on your timeline after you finish.
Whether the general Facebook user population takes it up and starts live streaming en masse in the near future is debatable. But there will certainly be many great applications for businesses, sports and events that should and will capitalise on the live streaming integration.
Why should you care?
Currently limited to individuals, this will no doubt be extended to pages and community groups. This could soon have an impact on businesses’ ability to get greater leverage out of sponsorships and associations with events, teams and the like.
As businesses and groups build up greater numbers of followers on Facebook they could leverage this feature to live stream games, events, interviews and more. Very few events have TV rights deals and using this feature will allow sponsors and event promotors to get closer to their target audience and followers, and to do so faster with wider exposure.
In the very short term, individuals at events will be able to stream and sponsors could get greater exposure than previously. This will be great for minority sports and events and their followers.
The future may (and probably will) also entail Facebook monetising the live streams in some fashion — whether through understanding the data to better target the users with advertising or even advertising on the stream itself.
This is another great example of advances in mobile technology creating additional opportunities to engage with target audiences.
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