What is Facebook Live and Why Does it Matter
Live video and specifically Facebook Live is the next logical generation of video and there is also something intrinsically special about “live.” Facebook Live creates an intimate experience between publisher (brand, business, person) and the consumer when a live video. A small list of differentiating factors for live video (specifically Facebook Live) and “on-demand” video; 1) it can be spontaneous, capture moments in real-time while streaming to as few as one or as many as millions of people; 2) it is engaging and interactive, consumers can interact in real time with the brand; 3) it is lightweight and mobile, you can publish live video anwhere, anytime.
Facebook Live, The Past
August 5th of 2015, Facebook launches live-streaming, initially restricted only to celebrities. Subsequently, on August 12, it announces that the feature will be made available to journalists and those with verified profiles. Originally launched in the fall of 2016 to a pilot group of celebrities.
Live, The Present
Facebook Live that was originally launched in August 2015 but limited only to celebrities and became available to all U.S. iPhone users on January 28. On February 18, the global rollout begins. It becomes available to U.S. Android users in the week following February 26. Starting March 1, Facebook starts pushing live content more compared to older content. Commentators describe Facebook Live as marking Facebook’s entry into the live-streaming space, competing with other live streaming platforms including but not limited to Periscope (Twitter’s proprietary live streaming platform).
On February 24th, Facebook released Facebook Live Reactions to the general public. The feature allows people to use six additional reactions beyond just the “like” action to convey their reaction to a post. The new reactions are “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “yay”, “sad”, and “anger”. Although the names differ across languages, the emoticons used are the same across languages. Each user can add at most one reaction to a post.
Facebook Live, The Future
The future of Facebook Live can be separated into two distinct categories; 1) KNOWN Facebook Live enhancements that are known to be published in the near future (summer 2016) and 2) SPECULATION, Facebook Live enhancements that have the media, marketing and advertising industries abuzz with what will soon be available.
Facebook Live, The Known Future
- Facebook Live Waiting Rooms – Ability to stage viewers in a virtual waiting room and entertain them with information, resources, links and offers.
- Facebook Live Scheduling – The ability to schedule live videos ahead of time. This feature is long overdue since at the current time we are at the mercy of real-time push notifications informing friends, fans and followers of when people and brand “go live”.
- Facebook Live Remote Multi-Panel Live Videos – Facebook will soon publish the ability to have multiple people “call-in” from remote locations. Word on the street is the ability to have two people on the live stream. This feature can be used for interviews, news or even workshops. If you are familiar with ESPN’s “First Take” show when Stephen A. Smith connects to the show remotely, we envision something similar to this show.
- Facebook Live Morning Show – Facebook in the next 3-6 months will launch a live morning show although specifics are not well known at the moment. The strategy is two-fold; 1) dive into the morning news media business while slowly capturing share-of-voice in this market and 2) slowly build the Facebook brand as a source for video, webcast and live video news and information among main stream users.
Facebook Live, The Unknown Future
- Facebook Live Local Morning Shows – Rumors abound about Facebook building separate studios in major metropolitan areas. These same rumors make mention that although the first Facebook morning show will be one centralized show available to all users the future of Facebook morning shows will also be available on a local level (consider the major networks on broadcast TV, they all have local TV news shows).
- Facebook Live Streaming Service – Our prediction is that within 1-2 years, Facebook will have a streaming service similar to Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. A built in streaming service on all smart TV’s beginning sometime in 2017, an icon or app on your smart TV to stream Facebook Live directly to your smart TV.
- Facebook Video Channels – Facebook will require some type of organization similar to a “channel” (think of a YouTube Channel) that will assist consumers to search for relevant live videos (and post-production live videos). These channels will be essential to brands to make their presence more visible.
- Facebook TV – This may be my favorite, a Facebook TV network. This is my own little silly prediction but I predict Facebook will have a major TV network available to cable and satellite providers. Although Facebook TV will not be available for a while, I am pretty certain something similar to Facebook TV is likely 2-3 years away (at least).