Facebook has been heavily pushing video as one of its premier content formats as it strives to become the go to video source over YouTube. Now Facebook has taken its live video streaming service mainstream to hit rival Twitter and Twitter owned live streaming service Periscope where it hurts.
Facebook rolled out Facebook Live on iOS in December and last month began rolling it out on Android to all users in the US. Facebook also stated that it will begin ranking live videos higher in people’s news feeds while those videos are streaming live.
While Facebook offers a much larger potential live streaming audience than Twitter/Periscope, the negative has always been its algorithm. Facebook’s algorithm has always prioritized content by its popularity or ad spend. Because it is popular usually means it’s also dated rather than up to the minute content which may not be timely but isn’t popular yet. By separating Live Video from traditional video, they’re able to prioritize how it serves up within their algorithm.
While not important or critical to most brands with Facebook Pages, those looking for higher profile distribution may find it appealing. Particularly those looking to promote or boost these live streams. What brands might find Live Streaming appealing? Imagine a brand with a weekly live video podcast where they talk about exciting weekly news and or answer questions live in stream a la Gary Vaynerchuk? Imagine tuning in weekly to see a live stream of his #AskGaryVee show before it’s edited? What about watching the Calvin Klein Runway Show live from New York Fashion Week? Or how about if Huffington Post decided to live stream news worthy stories? Imagine the impact it could have with Facebook’s audience potential? That would throw certainly throw the rest of the traditional media industry on its head. Such is the potential of Live Streaming on Facebook.
According to a Facebook statement, “People spend more 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.” This is the biggest reason why they are making this algorithm change to feature these videos higher in user’s news feeds.
Facebook is doing everything it can to keep users on Facebook. The fact that they have made such a focused effort on video these past couple years should come as no surprise as video keeps user’s onsite longer. They created “Your Business Story” to provide smaller businesses the ability to create video who may not otherwise be able to afford it. At the top end, they’ve now unveiled Live Video as a way for larger brands, celebrities and events to engage their audiences with live content where they are already playing. By separating Live Video from traditional video content, Facebook is positioning itself as THE social platform to reach your audience. Whether that is through professionally produced video content that you’re sponsoring or streaming live video to reach your audience the moment events are happening for instantaneous engagement. Have seen any Live Video or have you streamed live on Facebook yet? What are your thoughts? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, I always reply back quickly to keep the conversation going.