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May 04 2016

New Facebook Live Features Explained

As Facebook kicked off its annual conference “F8”, it revealed the new features of Facebook Live.

 

Live video streaming has been around on Facebook since August 2015. It is an effort by Facebook to make its service more live and immediate, similar to other social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter .

 

Since its launch there have been more than 670,000 live streams with a total of 12.6 billion views.

 

Live video is now also given a higher preference in your news feed, and you can be notified when your friend or someone you like is streaming.

 

Video is much more engaging and keeps users attention for longer compared to a normal text post. This is a big benefit for companies trying to gain engagement and views.

 

Live stream videos are also kept on the page’s timeline, available to be viewed after the live event.

 

So, what’s different?

 

The previous version of live video was only available to broadcast from a smartphone.

 

Facebook announced the changes it’s made by flying in a drone with a live video streaming camera, showing that you can now stream live video from any device. They want live streaming a video to be as easy and natural as updating your status. This is why the option appears in the ‘update status’ bar.

 

Brands will have the opportunity to broaden their audience. New features have added ways to share and interact with the videos and broadcasts can be more personalised.

 

As viewers are watching, you will be able to see their comments and reactions appear in real time. This allows even more interaction between the viewer and person/company broadcasting as the comments could be used to ask questions or respond to what’s being said in the video, creating a discussion in itself.

 

There will also be metrics in Facebook Insights that allow you to view the total number of live viewers during the broadcast and also the live viewers over time.

 

Live video has been made available as an API (Application Programming Interface). Facebook’s live streaming can be added to apps, making it easier for companies to use the service.

 

Facebook now gears search toward trending live videos. You will be able to search for a topic and instantly see if there is a live streaming video of it and watch the event first hand.

 

Some companies have already taken advantage of the feature and seen the effects.

 

Buzzfeed achieved around 800,000 viewers on a live video of a watermelon exploding.

 

BBC news has also taken on live video as a big part of their social media posting.

 

This works really well as they are able to broadcast to Facebook live as the news is happening. It gives viewers an even faster, “in the moment” version of news.

 

Statistics also show that people spend three times more time watching live videos compared to pre-recorded videos.

 

From a business perspective, live video can be used for anything from an exciting event in the office to a product launch. Anything creative will engage users so brainstorm some ideas and experiment!

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Marianne Devereux

A key member of the marketing team, Marianne draws from her experience in the social media world to create dynamic content marketing campaigns. She spends her time researching new trends to roll out across our managed accounts, and is a dab hand at creating GIFs, memes and polls. Follow us on social media to see what she has to say.

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