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Why Facebook Live is Crushing the Live Streaming Game

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Why Facebook Live is Crushing the Live Streaming Game

Live streaming video has exploded over the past couple of years. Meerkat, Periscope, and others dominated headlines for their immense user growth and popularity. Today, however, Facebook Live stands as one of the most popular live streaming portals in the world, and one of the most used websites on the planet. As Twitter’s user base continues to diminish and rumors swirl of its impending acquisition, there is a decent chance that the company’s live streaming platform, Periscope, will sink right alongside the little blue bird.

Since its release earlier this year, Facebook Live has become the go-to platform for live interactions for many, including brands. There have even been reports that Facebook aims to transition its network into a predominantly video-based portal in the coming years. Mark Zuckerberg has commented on the matter by stating, “We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services.” And Facebook isn’t taking its push lightly either. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has signed $50 million worth of contracts with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to live stream with its service. This, in conjunction with the explosion in online video consumption and Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, is transforming the social platform into one of the premier video destinations on the web.

Unparalleled User Base

Facebook boasts the largest monthly active user base of all social media networks. What’s more important, however, is that the network’s daily active users is sky-high; of Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, 1.1 billion are on the platform daily. This alone provides the social media site with a leg up in the competition.

Additionally, unlike most live streaming services (with the exception of the company’s biggest competitor, YouTube) Facebook’s live streaming feature is baked right into the application. This instantly grants broadcasting access to anyone who has the app on their phone; which in itself is in the billions.

Stunning Views and Engagement Stats

In the social media world, the size of a person’s following is not half as important as how engaged their audience is; engagement is everything. When it comes to Facebook’s live video, engagement is through the roof. Users are already consuming more than 100 million hours of video every day and engaging with live videos 10x more frequently than normal videos.

Additionally, a quick look at the Tubular Labs most watched video ranking of May 2016 reveals that BuzzFeed’s Tasty took the number one spot. What makes this significant, however, is that of the 1.9 billion views accrued, more than 1.8 billion came from Facebook alone. This same trend continues into June and July as well.

But those numbers pale in comparison to an average user’s stream. The “Chewbacca Mom” video broadcast has been viewed more than 3 million times, turning her into an overnight sensation.  And long after these videos have aired, they continue to drive massive amounts of engagement through Facebook. Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst for eMarketer, has commented on this raw power by stating, “It’s impressive to see the amount of traction that Facebook is getting from live video. Thousands, or even tens of thousands of people are watching a video live when it’s happening and then Facebook is getting replays after the video streaming has stopped.”

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It’s Where the Stars Are

Facebook has signed deals with almost 140 media outlets and celebrities to create live content for its platform. The company has recruited the likes of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BuzzFeed (who subsequently streamed a video that has received more than 800,000 live viewers and went on to gain more than 10 million views in total), Kevin Hart, Deepak Chopra, and Gordon Ramsay. These massive media names are a huge incentive for other celebrities, brands, and daily users to get into the live streaming action on Facebook as people are already flocking to watch live happenings through the social portal.

As of now, the only real competitor that Facebook has in the live streaming space is YouTube. The Google owned property recently released its own baked in live streaming feature. Is the space big enough for two behemoths? It’s likely both will flourish, but the verdict is still out. This is a monster race, and if you’re playing on both platforms, you and your brand are poised to win big.

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