Facebook's recent announcement that it would be starting testing of live video sharing is good news for indie artists, as it represents an opportunity to connect with fans in real-time on a platform that may be even easier for fans to access than Twitter's Periscope.
You get live video! And you get live video! Today, everyone in the audience is going home with the ability to share live video with their Facebook followers! Well, while the following announcement might not induce Oprah-level excitement, Facebook’s latest feature should excite indie artists seeking new ways to engage with their fans.
Last week, Facebook announced that it was beginning to test live video sharing on the social platform. The test, which targeted “a small percentage of people in the U.S. on iPhones” marked the beginning of live video streaming on Facebook for average Joes and Janes — a departure from Live for Facebook Mentions‘ verified-public-figures-only schtick. This is great news for indie artists who might not have previously had the opportunity to get verified and like the idea of engaging with their fans in real-time.
You might be asking yourself whether it’s actually worth streaming live on Facebook, if you’re already active on another live video streaming platform like Periscope. My answer to that, from what we’ve seen on Live for Facebook Mentions so far, is that it is worth your while. Facebook’s live video feature just seems to get it right where Twitter’s Periscope hasn’t quite hit the nail on the head yet. First, live video streams natively in Facebook’s Newsfeed, compared to Twitter’s Periscope integration, which relies on interested viewers clicking a link within a tweet and then pressing play. While those actions might sound simple, casual fans will be more likely to give content a chance when it’s easier to access. Second, whereas Periscope streams expire in 24 hours, Facebook streams are permanently saved to the user’s Timeline, allowing fans to re-watch and share to their heart’s content. And who doesn’t love more opportunities for their content to be discovered and shared?
While Facebook hasn’t yet made live video widely available to non-verified pages, it’s on its way. In the meantime, artists would do well to check out examples from verified public figures — from The Rock on the red carpet to Ricky Gervais in the bathtub — who are already doing a great job of engaging with their fans live.