When Facebook launched its live video streaming service, Facebook Live, tech analysts believed, rightly, that it was a direct attack on Twitter’s Periscope. Facebook though had more ambitious plans, since Twitter and Periscope were just small fish in the face of 1 billion potential users of Facebook Live.
In the newest upgrade to Facebook Live, the world’s biggest social network is aiming to make sure that it eclipsed not only Periscope, but also Snapchat’s own video service and if possible YouTube. And why not just go the whole way and even challenge cable TV stations? Facebook executives won’t admit it publicly, but the new updates announced yesterday would potentially be a threat to other TV stations. And remember, Facebook has over 1 billion people just waiting to start watching Facebook Live as their primary source of video for all sorts of events spanning entertainment, live sports, family occasions and hard news.
Fidji Simo, the Product Director of Facebook Live did not leave anything out while announcing the news of the new features:
“Since launching Facebook Live last summer to public figures via our Mentions app and more recently to everyone in the US using our iOS and Android apps we’ve been surprised and delighted with how people are using live video to connect and interact with each other all over the world. People are letting their friends discover their hobbies. Parents are using it to share moments in their kids’ lives with their extended families. Athletes are giving people a window into their training. Chefs are bringing their fans into their kitchen. Journalists are hosting global conversations on topics they care about. Aspiring musicians can now put on a live concert for their friends. Many people all over the world are using Facebook Live in many different ways to talk to and interact with the people that matter most to them.
That’s why today we’re excited to announce new features for Facebook Live to give you more ways to discover, share, and interact with live video, and more ways to personalize your live broadcasts.”
Some of these new addition to Facebook Live include
-Facebook Live can now be used in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events
-the reactions buttons or emotion features added to Facebook a while back have now being added to Facebook Live. Users can use the emoticons in real time to show how their emotions are changing during the live video broadcast.
-users can now invite their friends directly from the live videos to join them in watching
– a Facebook Live Map feature where users can look for all sorts of live video that are currently playing live around the world.
– a dedicated place where users can search for trending Facebook videos around the world. These video could be from important contacts, or be about topics you find interesting. From here, you can also chose to start your own live broadcast.
That is quite a lot for a single upgrade. This shows how committed Facebook is to making project Facebook Live the number one online video destination. And they are not just talking though. They are also putting their money where their ambitions are. Facebook is paying some media outfits to be part of Facebook live. The list of is quite impressive and it includes Time Inc, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Thomson Reuters (the owners of Reuters) and Conde Nast Entertainment. From the look of that list, it is just a matter of time before every online media house has a Facebook Live section on their site.
So what is Facebook getting out of the investments. The target here is mostly young adults who consume live video a lot. Making Facebook Live feature-rich would attract more of them to Facebook. More young users means more ads on Facebook. So as always, the bottmline is the amount of money Facebook can make from ads targeted at over a billion users.
photo credits: playground.it; brentreser.com