Facebook Live is a video streaming service launched by Facebook in 2016.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook Live with a broadcast on the 6th of April 2016. The unique form of video content allows for raw and authentic broadcasting through the Facebook social platform or mobile app. By tapping the stream icon, brands broadcast compelling videos, giving followers a chance to “tune in” to live content.
Facebook Live allows for two-way conversations between companies and clients with commenting and emoji reactions in real-time.
The features of Facebook Live
Live is a free feature of Facebook available to all profiles and pages on the platform. With broadcasts, Facebook users share unique content with friends and followers on Facebook. Features include:
- Notifications: As a distinct content type on Facebook, Live has its own notification system. Live video notifications are set to “on” by default on follower accounts.
- Filters and masks: Add personality to your live stream with filters and “masks.” These extras add fun colors and animations to your video.
- Maps: Facebook Live Map helps users find new and exciting content. The live chart provides a way for people to find local videos with ease.
- Invite friends: Users watching broadcasts send invitations to friends that invite them to join in with the stream. Encourage requests on your videos to boost your brand reach.
- Live Reactions: Like with any Facebook post, there’s an option to react to Live content using 6 emoji reactions. Facebook Live permits the use of reactions in real-time. This helps brands to gauge customer reactions to certain points in their content.
The benefits of Facebook Live
Since Facebook Live’s launch, live streaming has grown astronomically in popularity. 16% of marketers began broadcasting in 2016 alone. As of 2018, nearly 2 billion people have tuned into Facebook Live broadcasts.
While video has always been a popular medium online, social media and smartphones are contributing to the rise of live streaming. Experts predict that video streaming will be responsible for 80% of all traffic by 2020. Facebook Live videos give companies:
- A better way to connect with their audience: Real authentic videos demonstrate brand personality and prompt business growth.
- Unique features for audience engagement: Real-time commenting and live reactions allow for deeper conversations with customers.
- Cost-effective content: Live videos are raw and organic. There’s no need for expensive editing and production.
- Built-in analytics capabilities: Track your performance with Facebook analytics. View real-time reactions to your content or enhance your insights with a tool like Sprout Social.
- Improved reach: Keyword-rich descriptions, hashtags, and location tagging improve brand reach.
How to use Facebook Live
Facebook Live began as a broadcasting feature exclusively for mobile. Now broadcasting options are available from both mobile and desktop devices. To stream on Facebook Live:
- Go to your news feed and choose the “Live” option. It’s a small camcorder icon.
- Allow Facebook to access your microphone and camera.
- Choose the privacy settings you feel comfortable with and who you’re going to broadcast to.
- Write an enticing description for your stream.
- Tag crucial people, including employee advocates.
- Choose your location or add an activity to make your stream “searchable.”
- Set up your camera view and add lenses, filters or drawing to your video.
- Click the “Go Live” button.
- Interact with viewers by asking for comments and live reactions.
- Click “Finish” to complete your broadcast.