Facebook just announced that it is rolling out Facebook Live, its live video service, to everyone. It will start to display in the “Update Status” section for US-based users with iPhones.
Why is this important? Because with 1.5 billion users and the exponentially increasing popularity of video on Facebook, I see Facebook Live instantly becoming a major player, if not THE major player in the live streaming market. Current live streaming apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, MyEye and FireTalk are separate and don’t integrate all the other features of “community” that already exists in Facebook. Over the long term, this could be a big problem for these other apps.
To put the thoughts I share in this post into context, please know that I’m a big fan of Periscope and participated at the recent Periscope Summit New York and will be speaking in January at Periscope Community Summit in San Francisco. The community and engagement I’ve experienced on Periscope is amazing and so very much appreciated. Note- my thoughts on Periscope =>
Having said that, technology changes quickly and it’s always important to appreciate, evaluate and even embrace positive change. When doing so and taking Facebook Live into consideration, it’s important to appreciate just how quickly the power of mobile live streaming is changing the world.
Facebook Live will allow people to share what they care about with others. Your travels, activities and passions can all be shared and commented on 24/7. All Facebook users will need to do is tap on the Update Status and then select the Live Video icon. Type a short description (only if you want), pick your audience (public, friends, custom), and go live.
While broadcasting on Facebook Live, you will be able to see who is watching and engage your audience in real time based upon their real-time comments streaming below the live video broadcast. After you’re done, your live stream video will be saved on your Timeline or simply deleted. If you’re looking for interesting live video content, you’ll be able to search and discover content in your Facebook News Feed. If you like a Facebook Live video, you can Subscribe to the broadcaster and be notified the next time he or she goes live.
I believe the real power of Facebook Live is twofold. First, it allows for real-time live streaming from your mobile device. This is huge and what has helped other apps gain massive traction exponentially fast (Periscope gained 10M users watching 40 years of video daily in just a couple of months of service). Second, this new technology is instantly embedded into a dominating social media platform with almost 1.5 billion individual and business community users.
In today’s world, everything is based on immediacy, time and attention. Complimenting this consumer need with mobile live streaming is huge. Facebook’s new Live simply adds to its existing and growing stable of related acquisitions including WhatsApp (fast messaging), Messenger (share anything), Oculus (VR), Internet.org (greater and faster connectivity globally), and Articles, Facebook Notes (connecting instantly and easily through the written word). All of these will now compliment and highlight each other via Facebook Live.
I think the next big step for Facebook Live will be when it incorporates real time bi-directional live streaming video in a fashion similar to Blab and Spreecast (people watching your broadcast can join you via live streaming video from their mobile device). This will raise the bar when it comes to real time engagement and I can’t wait for this to happen.
When Facebook Live rolls out to your iPhone, please let me know and let’s connect. Share your thoughts and experiences about how you’re using the new Facebook Live to share and engage with others!
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Mitch is a 2013 CA Lawyer of the Year and a 2009 OC Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is a legal change evangelist who shows lawyers and entrepreneurs how to use social and live streaming to disrupt, hack and improve their practices and businesses. Connect with Mitch on Twitter @MitchJackson | Facebook, and via his platforms at MyLawyerRocks.com (law firm) | StreamingLawyer.com (live streaming) | MitchJackson.com (communication tips) | Human.Social (interviews) | JonMitchellJackson.com (consulting services)