Facebook’s New Streaming Service: What You Need to Know

There has been a lot of buzz within and outside of the tech community about live streaming. From Snapchat’s debut in 2011 to Twitter’s ugly war with Meerkat and its later acquisition of the streaming service, Periscope, Facebook is now tentatively entering the live streaming market.

In early August, Facebook announced its release of a live streaming feature, Live, similar to Twitter’s Periscope and Snapchat’s Snapchat Live and Snapchat Story. Currently, Facebook is allowing celebrities to post live video content to their News Feeds. Also, followers of certain celebrities who use the streaming feature are notified each time a new video is added online.

Initially, the live streaming service was only available to public figures and celebrities who have exclusive access to Facebook Mentions, an app catered to public figures with verified Facebook pages. However, recently Facebook began mass testing its service during the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Offering streaming services that rival Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook’s entrance into the live streaming market can have some interesting implications for existing and future live streaming services.   

Facebook’s live streaming service is similar to other social media platforms in these ways:

  • Video Content is Broadcasted in Real Time

Facebook’s new streaming service, unlike Snapchat but similar to Periscope and Meerkat, allows people to comment, like, and share video content. It also allows for users to follow other people and to delete content. Additionally, similar to Snapchat, Facebook’s new streaming service allows for users to see when friends view their content.

  • Celebrity Involvement

As seen with Snapchat, celebrities are beginning to post behind the scenes footage, Q&A sessions, and snapshots of their daily life on Facebook Live. According to Facebook’s media page, celebrities using Facebook Live include: Martha Stewart, Ricky Martin, Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, and Luke Bryan to name a few.


However, Facebook has also differentiated and positioned itself competitively with these attributes:

  • You Can View Video Content After 24 hours

Many of us are familiar with the Snapchat and Periscope feature that deletes content after it has been broadcasted for 24 hours. Facebook’s new service would allow users to look at old video content in case they missed events in real time.

  • Publishers Could Monetize Content

Just as Facebook allows for targeted and sponsored advertisements on the News Feed, Facebook’s live streaming feature could potentially gain extra revenue through advertising. Business Insider suspects that this new live streaming feature could bring in a sizable amount of revenue. What does this mean for existing streaming apps? Although Snapchat has, in recent years, started monetizing the app through Snapchat Discover, Facebook could easily threaten the live streaming market with its enormous number of active users and revenue potential.

What does this mean for your business? It means that live streaming could become a major facet of advertising to millennials. Although the general public has not been granted access to Facebook Live, it is very possible that we will soon see Facebook’s streaming services become mainstream.