Facebook Starts Opening Live Video Broadcasting To All, Launches Photo+Video …

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Brands, Platforms, The Live Video Labyrinth And How Everyone Can Win.

After letting just celebrities and journalists on its Periscope competitor for a few months, Facebook today began testing its Live streaming video broadcasting feature with average users on iOS in the U.S.With Periscope and Meerkat being two of the breakout stars of this year’s SXSW, and Snapchat serving as the primary engagement tool for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, live video platforms have taken the media, political and business worlds by storm. What’s different from Periscope is that only close friends will receive notifications about broadcasts, and afterwards, replay videos are automatically saved and remain permanently visible. The feature was tacked onto the Facebook Mentions app, which the social network offers only to high-profile figures—or, as of September, verified users—who want to interact with fans easily and monitor chatter about themselves.

Although live streaming has been around since the early days of CU-SeeMe and Ustream, its newest renditions present opportunities for remote digital engagement that have never been seen before — including on mobile — and everyone is trying to figure out how to leverage it. The expansion of Live is part of Facebook’s push “to help friends and family feel like they’re in the moment with you”, according to Product Managers Vadim Lavrusik and Thai Tran. Once you tap to “Go Live,” you will see the number of viewers tuning in to your live stream, the names of your Facebook friends who are watching, and whatever comments pop out in real time. But, concurrently, these platforms pose potential problems for brands that want to deliver controlled experiences; you may recall the issues for HBO and Showtime caused by Periscope during the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Think of it like the multi-photo stories people could share on Facebook, but with videos too, and options to resize each white-bordered tile like in Instagram’s standalone app Layout. Generally, these platforms also present challenges like scaling to enterprise-size audiences and convincing audiences to adopt these new forms of engagement.

There’s one key difference between Facebook’s service and other platforms like Periscope: Once recorded, videos will be archived and viewable on a user’s timeline. Both Live and Collages show Facebook’s willingness to adopt whatever sharing mediums are popular in order to stay relevant, no matter whether it’s criticized for copying. In a blog post, Facebook noted that the new functionality is aimed at interacting with close contacts, rather than the wide net cast by streams on Meerkat or Periscope. As it becomes easier for organizations to successfully integrate live video into their digital media strategies, they need to avoid the pitfalls and improve customer engagement while boosting their brand. But you might soon start receiving a push notification when one of your “close friends” (as designated by Facebook’s algorithm) starts a live broadcast.

Now Facebook is baking that functionality into the News Feed where people spend their time, rather than a side app like Twitter’s acquisition Periscope. In addition to the expanded Live video feature, Facebook also announced a new way to view photos and video by grouping them together in a scrolling collage.

Primary among them is the viability of controlling proprietary content when most viewers have a device in their pocket that could instantly rebroadcast any event to thousands of other viewers, with or without a license to do so. The NHL banned media from using Periscope or Meerkat, and the PGA Tour recently revoked a reporter’s credentials after she used Periscope to broadcast golfers practicing. Why this matters: It’s been less than a year since live-streaming first gained traction with smartphone users, and early entrants like Meerkat and Periscope are already getting competition from big tech.

Although each of these organizations has the right to control how its content is distributed, there may be a better approach than prohibiting such platforms. Over the past few months since Periscope launched in April, Twitter hasn’t wanted or been able to build the viewing or broadcasting experience into its main app. Live-video broadcasting services could present a slippery slope, but the viewers it takes away from televised distribution might not outweigh what could be saved and gained in promotion, marketing and newfound viewership. Facebook is betting that putting Live broadcasting and viewing abilities where people already spend more time on mobile than anywhere else will let it leap-frog Twitter.

Twitter acquired and launched Periscope shortly after, and in August, the company reported that Periscope had hit 10 million accounts and 2 million active daily users. But the early popularity of Periscope and the way the word has become a verb meaning ‘to mobile live stream’ will leave Facebook looking like a clone. For instance, the MLB is taking an experimental approach, monitoring fans’ usage of streaming apps to see how they can benefit from the new social media platforms. With Facebook Live, however, your friends and people you actually know will be more likely to tune in, making them a far-more engaged audience for your live antics and oversharing. Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a nonprofit that raises money to help children with cancer, took its local efforts global by using Blue Jeans Primetime, a video event tool.

Over video, participants were able to engage, interact and draw inspiration from other volunteers as they headed out into their yards to raise money for the organization. For more demanding tasks that still need to reach a wide audience, try video conferencing platforms like Blue Jeans Network or Citrix’s GoToMeeting. Several other content consumption trends are also introducing new possibilities for video, including the popularity of Netflix to “binge watch” shows and the recent availability of HBO streaming and consumer demand toward channel unbundling. For example, most people only truly require live TV for things like championship fights, elections and sports games, and it’s not too far off to imagine that people will opt for cable packages that offer streamlined options in the future.

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