Facebook Live is here!

Today (6th April 2016!) see’s the full rollout of Facebook live to all users and that’s going to be a major step change for a platform which has over a billion users.

If you’ve not kept up with the social media industry of late then you may not have realised that Facebook Live video was on the way.  And, if you didn’t know that live video was on there way you probably don’t know about apps such as Periscope which have been HUGE over the past 12 months as both people and businesses take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by live streaming.

Video is not new. YouTube has been around for as long as I can remember and is utilised by businesses around thew world to promote their products but until the last 12 months there’s been no real opportunity for live streaming and this is why it’s now growing at a rapid rate.

This is a big change!

If you look at how social media is evolving we’re in a fourth step change now. First we had text updates (Facebook v1), then came images (step 2) and for a while now we’ve had embedded/pre-recorded video (step 3) so live video is going to take us to the next era of social media.

Periscope has taken a head start in terms of the live video arena. The app is easy to use, the number of people using it grows week on week and already there are people who have enormous followings on the platform.

Facebook live will need to catch up but with over 1 billion users it’s got the biggest platform of all to grow their live streaming service and I have no doubts it’s about to take off.

Facebook Live video has been around for over a year now but the build up has been gradual. Verified accounts/pages have been able to use Facebook live since 2015 as the social media platform looked to see how it was used and iron out any early problems.

Facebook Live is live

More recently, Facebook live video has started to be rolled out to all pages and finally today, we expect that everyone will be able to utilise the live video function in the same way that you post a status or picture.

Not only is the live roll out happening today but Facebook are also make some cool new enhancements in the coming weeks.

Facebook Live for Groups & Events

Firstly, they’re allowing live video to be used in Groups or Events. So, whether you manage a business group or a group containing a bunch of your friends you can live stream only to team. Likewise, if you have an event (which could be a birthday party or a business launch) you can also live stream that to people who perhaps couldn’t make it. Think.of.the.potential!

Facebook Live Engagement

Secondly, they’re enhancing the way in which users can engage with your video. Like Periscope, Facebook recognises that the engagement is a huge part of the success of live video and hence you can now show your approval (or displeasure) at a video but using one of the recently added Facebook reactions. You can also comment on the video and interact with the broadcaster in real time which is key for the success of the video.

Filters & Fun Stuff

Thirdly, Facebook are allowing the broadcaster to add filters and draw annotations on their video which will also add a new dynamic to the live stream and allow for some really cool presentations.

Maps & More!

Finally, and again like Periscope, Facebook Live will allow you to see other broadcasts from people you may not be friends with (popular broadcasts). It’ll also allow you to watch videos in certain places through use of a world map which shows where videos are running and you will also be able to invite friends to see your broadcast so they need not miss it!

Going back to the world map change. This already exists and it’s a feature I love. Want to see whats going on in New York? Go and take a look. Australia? Go and look for a stream from someone in Australia. Thailand? Same. Brazil? Same again. This may not be business related but it brings a realness (can’t think of a better word!) to the world because you can tune in to what’s happening there right now.

Facebook Live for Business

The opportunities for your business are wide and you should now be thinking about HOW you utilise Live video. Engagement is important and we know people comment and interact more with video than photos but Facebook report people are 10 TIMES more likely to engage with a live video than a normal (pre-recorded) video which gives huge potential.

Think about how you bring your followers and potential clients value through live video. Could you:

  • Demonstrate your knowledge & craft via Q&A sessions
  • Provide tips & tricks on an area of expertise
  • Give a product demo
  • Live stream an event
  • Give an insight in to what happens in your business through daily videos on the business
  • Give a tutorial
  • Make a news or business announcement

That’s just a quick list from the top of my head but there will be many more ideas you’ll have based on what your business is and what you sell.

So, start thinking about live video and leave a comment to let me know how you might use it or with any questions you have on live video.

Take care!

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