Facebook Introduces a New Live Stream Feature.
Posted by Will Shadbolt
In the past, Facebook has flirted with live video. Last year the company expressed interest in obtaining rights to live stream the NFL's Thursday Night Football, but it was Twitter, also excited about the up-and-coming format, that wound up with the deal. Only recently did Facebook reveal its commitment to the format. A few days ago the company unveiled a new tab on its mobile app devoted to showing users live streams from all across the world and plans to add a similar service on the desktop version, christened "Facebook Live Map." Both celebrities and the average person can share videos. Different groups on the website can also broadcast various streams to connect with fans and hobbyists.
For these videos, Facebook is putting in filters—a la Snapchat—and allowing people to use recently implemented reactions such as "like," "wow" and "sad," which will appear on the top of the screen for a short time before vanishing to make room for others. Those watching broadcasts will also be able to see if any of their friends are watching the same event and little bursts will appear whenever they are about to post a reaction. All of this allows marketers to measure the total number of viewers at any given moment during a stream as well as gather other information and statistics. Even after the event, videos will remain on Facebook, complete with various reactions on screen, for those tuning in a day or two late.
At this time Facebook has not mentioned incorporating any ads into their live streams, but it seems likely that this will eventually become a part of their new tab. The company has already made offers to news agencies and celebrities to live stream on Facebook as opposed to their own websites. Snapchat has recently grown in popularity in part due to celebrities' ability to post short "behind-the-scenes" clips of their days on the app; will Facebook be able to replicate this success? Either way, this new feature is sure to open doors for various brands.
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