Trend or Reality: The Future of Live Video on Social

If you have not heard, a new wave of marketing is ramping up and brands are rushing to add it to their marketing strategy. Live video is preparing to be the next big thing in social media.

Background

Facebook first introduced the service last summer, but it was only for celebrities. It then became available for Apple users in the U.S. in January. Finally, Facebook has brought Facebook Live to Android users and also plan to release it in other countries. The rational for introducing Facebook Live to Android users is justified, as 50% of people watching live videos are using Android devices.

With Twitter owned Periscope reaching 200 million broadcasts in just a year, Snapchat’s ever increasing power, and Twitch continuing its steady growth, it was a matter of time before Facebook decided it needed to invest more into live video.

Furthermore, adoption rates thus far have been encouraging. Facebook claims that on average people watch a live video more than three times longer than other videos.

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The Future Of Live Television On Social

E! launched a talk show on Facebook Live that runs for 15-20 minutes and is shot from an iPhone 6s Plus. Twitter’s Periscope is also chasing media deals and has already exclusively hosted a special full episode of Comedy Central’s @midnight.

Skeptics might scoff at the idea of television networks creating shows tailored to social media. “Social is for messaging friends and family,” they might say. However, live T.V. shows going social is already happening.

In a live video broadcast, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had this to say, “We think of this as the power to broadcast from a smartphone to anyone in the world. It’s like having a TV camera in your pocket all the time.”

Consumers have already gotten used to being able to watch television shows and movies on demand by using their mobile devices. With live video on social media, mobile devices will now offer another new source of content to its users.

In a ground-breaking bid that also included Facebook, Twitter won the rights to stream Thursday Night Football.

Choosing The Right Platform

It might be too early to say as brands are still working on testing the new features being offered from Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, and Snapchat. However, the implications of live video gaining traction on social are huge because it offers a new way to engage with the audience.

Facebook

Facebook offers features to help the user customize their live stream including:

  • Video filters
  • The ability to doodle on videos
  • The ability to invite a friend to a live video
  • Live reactions and comments
  • The ability to replay those reactions and comments after a livestream has ended
  • Once the video has been posted to the profile, it can be edited.

Unlike its closest rival Periscope, Facebook Live videos do not disappear after 24 hours. They are able to be replayed an unlimited amount of times as the video remains active on the user’s profile.

Facebook live thus far has found the most success with athletes. For example, a recent video by tennis star Serena Williams generated over 180,000 views and over 11,000 reactions.

Facebook Live is still in its early days and we have not seen a full scope of what brands are capable of doing with it. However, given Facebook’s impressive 1.6 billion monthly users stats, it’s hard to ignore Facebook as being the potential leader with live video on social. Live will also be open to developers and publishers. The future of Facebook Live may be much more than just a broadcast as developers try to imagine new ways to interact with viewers.

Twitter – Periscope

Periscope was bought by Twitter last year for $100 million and is making itself known by already reaching 200 million broadcasts. 50% of Periscope users are 18-34 year olds, providing a key stat for brands trying to reach that specific demographic.

Periscope features include:

  • Direct support with Twitter and Facebook
  • Landscape mode
  • Viewers can comment and leave reactions in real-time
  • Location based maps of current broadcasts, and previous broadcasts
  • Periscope is said to be working on a doodling option for the videos

Periscope’s most attractive feature is its seamless integration with Twitter. Once a user starts broadcasting on Periscope, it is automatically shared on Twitter. Followers do not have to navigate to Periscope to watch the video because they can watch it directly on Twitter. Many brands such as adidas, DKNY, Spotify, Mountain Dew, and Red Bull have begun testing on the app as well as a number of celebrities. Brands mostly use Periscope for new product releases, live Q&A, celebrity takeover, behind the scenes, and to build their Twitter followings.

Twitch

Twitch attracts 100 million unique viewers per month and is the silent juggernaut of live streaming video. The primary attraction is the ability to watch others play video games. However, Twitch is expanding its capabilities, allowing others to get in on the fun. Twitch has announced Twitch Creative, opening a new platform to artists and musicians who also wish to livestream their videos.

Twitch features include:

  • Twitch creative, allowing musicians and artists to livestream video.
  • Video upload
  • Real-time commentary
  • Open innovation

The most attractive thing about Twitch is that brands don’t need to worry about creating incredible content. Viewers want to see real-life events that they can engage with in real-time. The person streaming on Twitch can stream their desktop, so that the viewer can see the creative process in the works.

Brands have been most successful in attracting their target audience by using influencer marketing. Some of the ways brands are using Twitch include: sponsored broadcasts with top gamers, sponsored gaming competitions, product placement and brand integrations at live events, and The “Hero Slot.”

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Snapchat

Snapchat revolutionized the industry and has quickly established itself as a social media powerhouse. With the introduction of Snapchat, larger social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter saw the potential in producing real-time videos to be shared amongst friends.

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Snapchat features include:

  • Video and audio notes
  • Sending multiple photos at once
  • Sending photos during video/audio calls
  • Stickers in private chats
  • Pics/Videos “self-destruct” in 10 sec
  • Sharing content to a story board that all followers can see
  • Geo-filters
  • Daily lenses

The potential for Snapchat has been recognized as many brands are creating profiles to attract their audience. Brands typically use Snapchat for behind-the-scenes interactions, where they show their audience an uncut look into the culture of the brand. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Sour Patch Kids, General Electric, and Acura were early adopters and are some of the most successful brands to have used Snapchat so far. Snapchat offers brands the ability to humanize their business and is an engaging platform for their audience, specifically for those in the 18-25-year-old range, who say they use Snapchat more often than Facebook.

Here are 5 creative ways brands have used Snapchat. Want to learn more about Snapchat Geo-filters? Click here to check out our blog and see how they may benefit your business.

In Conclusion

Each platform has its own unique advantage for being used. Regardless of which platform you choose, these 6 reasons to use live video streaming should help you decide if it’s the right next step for your marketing strategy:

  • Innovative
  • Live video streaming
  • Real-time marketing
  • Direct communication
  • Staying up to date with social trends
  • Open up to a new target audience

Brands that jump on early will hone the proper skills and lead the charge into the next phase of social media. So the question is, how long are you going to wait to try something new? Will you sit back and watch other brands test the new feature, and potentially be heralded for their successful campaigns? Or are you ready to take on the challenge, and be one of the first to adopt live video into your strategy?