Is Facebook Live Video the “Future of TV”?

Facebook Live
In March 2015, livestreaming apps Meerkat and Periscope rocked the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Then, at the start of 2016, approximately 547,000 viewers demonstrated the power of instant streaming when they tuned in to stare at a puddle in the UK.

The boffins at Facebook were paying close attention.

Last week, Facebook announced it was redesigning its Android and iOS app to focus on live video, and that it was seeking out content publishers with which to form strategic alliances.

"We really believe that the future is going to be more immersive, and video is a big part of that," said Fidji Simo, product management director at Facebook

The social media network also released a statement, discussing how users can now post live videos in group and event pages.

"We hope this new ability to both broadcast and watch live video within Groups and Events enables people to connect more deeply with their closest friends, family and the communities of people who share their interests.”

Some in the television industry are already describing this moment as the death of the electronic program guide.

One of Facebook’s new partners is BuzzFeed, which recently interviewed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to learn about the company’s thought process.

“People look at live video and they think this is a lot of pressure because it’s live; it takes a lot of courage to go live and put yourself out there. But what we’re finding is the opposite,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s live; it can’t possibly be perfectly planned out ahead of time. Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s a great medium for sharing raw and visceral content.”

BuzzFeed proved this last Friday, when the website setup a livestream of two employees attaching rubber bands to a watermelon in an attempt to cause it to explode.

After about 45 minutes, the duo achieved success – with 800,000 concurrent viewers watching them, and approximately 2.8 million individuals checking out the stream that afternoon, shattering Periscope’s previous record. Over 10 million people have viewed it as of print time.

Today, Facebook held its F8 Developer Conference, and Zuckerberg was quick to emphasize the live feature.

“We’re seeing TV stars get bigger audiences on Live than they get in their TV shows,” Zuckerberg revealed.

“A lot of things we think of as physical objects, like a TV for displaying an image, will be $1 apps in an AR app store,” he added.

Live video, whether observed on TV or via an internet app or website, seems to be a highly popular way to engage with content and publishers right now.

Facebook's next step appears to be a game show.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Facebook.


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