Next week the AOL-owned Tech Crunch will host its fifth Disrupt NY conference, one of the world’s leading events looking at new and emerging technologies, revolutionary start-up ideas and general game changers. For the first time ever, we can all follow the agenda as it happens, live on Facebook.
More so, the broadcast- which exploits Facebook Live Video streaming- will be shot on TV-grade equipment by a six strong production team. It’s the first time this idea has been implemented, and for all intents and purposes represents a leap forward towards what the future might look like.
Live, user-created broadcast platforms are nothing new. Over the last couple of years we’ve watched several of these networks launch. Some did enough to stick around- Twitter’s Periscope for example- others haven’t been so lucky (see: Meerkat). Nevertheless, the demand is most definitely there, both from would-be broadcasters and the potential audience, and this is only gaining momentum.
By 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expects 70% of mobile internet use to be video. And, as many territories saw mobile internet use surpass desktops in 2015, that means video will soon dominate overall internet activity more so than it does already. Coupled with a decline in scheduled TV viewing and clearly content creators are going to be looking at more and more alternative platforms to showcase their work.
In many ways Facebook Live Video is similar to its rivals. By opening or having an account with the parent network you are entitled to set up a video channel and begin live broadcasts, which are pretty simple to do. Providing you’re using an Android or Apple smartphone, shoot the video using the device camera, and the footage is immediately broadcast to your Facebook account.
It’s not without problems, mind- the most obvious being inconsistency when it comes to notifying others you are broadcasting. Sometimes an alert is visible when a contact or Page ‘goes live’, sometimes it isn’t. However, boffins are busy working away at building a dedicated portal within Facebook, which we imagine will mean you click through to a list of accounts currently broadcasting live, updated in real time, and then simply select which you want to watch like a channel.
Once that happens, and the feature becomes a standard part of Facebook, the pick up could be enormous, what with roughly 1/7 of the world’s entire population technically already signed up. Too big to fail, then? Perhaps not- we’ve heard that too many times before- but you get the point. Now, here are a few cold hard facts you should know before diving in:
*There is no time limit to Facebook Live broadcasts
*Viewers can comment in real time as you broadcast
*It’s vital to announce a forthcoming broadcast and promote it ahead of going live (like a TV trailer)
*Live will soon be incorporated into groups and event pages, opening up huge storytelling possibilities for savvy brands
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