First it was offered to public figures, now Facebook has expanded the availability of its video live streaming facility to all users of its iPhone app, based in the US. The California-based company plans to extend availability to outside the US in the coming weeks. Android users may have to wait a little longer with the social media giants saying only that that the facility is still being developed for the Android app.
Facebook product manager, Vadim Lavrusik, announced the new development in a blog on January 28 2016;
“Today, we’re excited to expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the U.S. via iPhone, and we plan to start rolling this out to the rest of the world over the coming weeks.”
It is indeed an exciting development for Facebook, at a time when it is already enjoying increased profits, $1.56 billion in the last three months of 2015 as opposed to US$3.85 billion for the same period in 2014. It will be interesting to see how Live fares in comparison to previous live streaming offerings Meerkat and Periscope.
How does Facebook Live work?
It’s a really simple process for Facebook users to begin streaming live video. All they have to do is select Update Status and tap the Live Video icon. Users can choose the audience for their streaming before they go live. While they are streaming they can see who is watching the content and what comments they are making. Any users who watch a live stream can comment during viewing and subscribe to watch any further live streams from the same user. One the live stream has ended the video content is automatically saved to the user’s status, unless they choose to delete it.
The financial benefits of Live
Video is massive as far as Facebook is concerned; 100 million hours of video are streamed by users each day. When you factor in the figure of 1 billion people accessing Facebook on a mobile device every day, you can see why Live has the potential to be such a big deal. From a revenue point of view, it’s also extremely important. 80% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile. Live has the potential to get people to spend more time accessing Facebook from a device where they can be subject to targeted marketing. This in return could increase mobile ad revenue even further.
Over the coming weeks and months, it will become evident how successful Live will be. Right now we can only look forward to checking out those live streams from friends.