Live video streaming has hit the social media world by storm since Facebook upped the game with its launch of Live Video. Meerkat was one of the first well-known video streaming apps on the scene in 2015, but was quickly overshadowed by Twitter’s buyout of Periscope. With the fast-paced changes in the world of live streaming, it can be hard to keep up with which channel is best for your brand. Here’s an overview of the most popular live video streaming apps along with some insights to help you decide which tool is the best for your brand.
Since launching Live Video late last year, Facebook has been favoring Live Videos over all other content on its web and mobile platforms, and for good reason: people spend three times longer watching video that is Live compared to video that is no longer Live. Videos also have 135% more organic reach than photo posts. Facebook also has 1.65 billion monthly active users, including 1.51 billion mobile monthly active users as of March 2016. Live Videos can only be created within the mobile app, and make it easy for anyone to broadcast from anywhere.
Facebook Live Video features include:
- The ability to notify followers the moment you go live
- Followers can comment and like videos in the moment as well as after broadcast
- Broadcast up to 90 minutes
- Download video after live stream and save videos directly to camera roll when you go live
- Edit the thumbnail and category, and add a call to action after broadcast
- Amplify the reach of broadcast
- Video lives permanently on your timeline (or you can take it down)
- Statistics on who watched live, versus replay, etc.
There are a number of new features that Facebook has in the works for Live Videos, including two-person broadcasts, waiting rooms for viewers, and even Continuous Live Video. Facebook is heavily invested in the success of Live Video, which will only help brands broadcasting on the platform as well. If you already have a strong presence on Facebook, then adding Live Video to your marketing plan is a no-brainer.
Periscope was one of the pioneers in bringing live streaming to mobile devices, with 10 million users within four months of launching in March of 2015 (its predecessor Meerkat has not seen as much success and is pivoting their focus). Although Periscope accounts are linked to users’ Twitter accounts (and helps with notifying followers in both spaces), Periscope lives in its own platform dedicated just to live video streaming, limiting the reach a little more than Facebook. Periscope is a great platform to use if you have a strong Twitter following and want to focus exclusively on live video streaming.
Periscope features include:
- Ability to notify followers of broadcasts both in the app and on Twitter
- New option to keep broadcasts or let them expire within 24 hours on your profile
- Save broadcasts directly to camera roll
- Viewers can comment and love your video, making for easy live interaction
Google has been developing its own live streaming service called YouTube Connect, which will be available both on desktop and through the YouTube mobile app. The service is just beginning to roll out, but with over a billion users on YouTube (also one of the top search engines online), you won’t want to ignore this new live video streaming outlet. And as we’ve seen with numerous new apps and websites, it pays to be an early adopter, which could potentially increase the reach of your brand even further. Currently open to select verified creators, you can see some examples of YouTube Connect in action here. If your brand is active on YouTube, or is looking for a broader reach across the web in general, YouTube Connect will be an excellent choice for live video streaming.
YouTube Connect features include:
- Live commenting and chat space, and liking/disliking
- Integrated with your existing YouTube channel
- Searchable and available for replay just like any other video on YouTube
There are a number of additional live video streaming apps out there, including the brand new live.ly, but none that have as much clout as Facebook, Periscope, or YouTube. When planning your video marketing strategy, it’s critical to consider who your audience is and which social platforms they’re most active on. The rest is up to you–your team can be as creative or informative as you like!
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Read our post about the launch of Youtube Music App.