Your 6:00pm local news is no longer your only source of live content. Over the past two years, we’ve seen network news companies go live on Facebook, the NFL stream live its first game on Twitter, and people from around the world, famous or your average cat lover, stream live on Periscope.
“Going Live” on social media is the new sexy thing. People will stream anything and everything to grow their social media audience, to inform the general public, and to simply say “hello”. We’ll look at who’s using Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, what Facebook has done to promote its Facebook Live and how Twitter is changing the streaming game, and how it could be utilized in the future.
To understand why going live on social media is popular, we need to know three things, who is on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, what the potential reach of people is, and which one is most effective. Facebook has the most users of the internet on the site.
As of August 2015, Facebook had 72% of the Internet users using its site. 77% of the women on the Internet use Facebook compared to men. 82% of people 18 to 29 years of age use Facebook. Twitter has 23% of the Internet users using its site. 25% of male Internet users use Twitter compared to 21% of women Internet users. Periscope has only 1% of Internet users and 71% of men post Periscope URL’s.
Clearly Facebook has the larger reach and even though Twitter owns Periscope, their reach doesn’t even come close to Facebook’s. We can see that with the percentage of Internet users that Facebook has, they clearly have deep enough pockets to pay high profile people and organizations to user their latest feature, Facebook Live.
After 2015, Facebook’s revenue increased 40% and they made $18 billion in advertising and they are on a steady pace to do well in 2016. They have the money to pay people to play with their new toys. Facebook was a little late to the social media live party. They launched Facebook Live on April 9th of 2016 and Pericope was launched back in 2015.
But how has Facebook Live brought this whole social media live to the forefront of social media culture? They paid a lot, and I mean a lot, of people and organizations to do so. Facebook made a deal with ABC to Facebook Live 74 hours of the RNC and DNC during the 2016 Presidential race which delivered 28 million views, but with no dollars attached.
It’s tough to make money off of Facebook Live because it has no ad support or ways to advertise. But Facebook is all about getting its new things in front of people. Facebook has spent over $50 million with almost 140 different video creators to use Facebook Live. The graph below shows how much they’ve spent on who.
I know it seems like Facebook is doing everything with the new live technology, but Twitter has signed a deal with an organization who owns a full day, the NFL. This year, Twitter signed a deal with the NFL to live stream 10 Thursday Night Football games during the 2016 season. Twitter had to pay a hefty sum of $10 million and could only sell some of their ad inventory exclusively but Twitter has attracted quite the audience, especially for the first game of the 2016 season.
On average, every minute of the game had about 243,000 people watching the Twitter stream. On the television side, 15.4 million people were watching on CBS and the NFL Network. Twitter’s first live stream of the game reach 2.1 million people who watched only a small portion of the game. Even though Twitter has only 23% of Internet users, 2.1 million people being reached due to a Thursday Night Football game made some people perk their ears which can really start changing the live streaming game.
What can live streaming on social media do for the future? If you think about it, it can really change the game of advertising and can be a way to promote concerts and events, businesses, or inform the general public easier. It’s cheap to stream live on social medias. If you have a phone and enough storage space to download Twitter, Facebook, or Periscope app, you too can stream live. You don’t need a television tower, big expensive equipment, a vehicle, or anything that it normally takes to do a live television broadcast.
Social media reaches so many people around the world you can reach anyone, anywhere, at any time by simply going live. But how is it going to affect the distribution of content? I don’t think it will change much. It’s a new way to distribute content but not a way to replace a current way of distributing content. We still have people who are making those fun live stream cat videos and that means one thing, it’s a social media tool more than broadcast tool, right now.
Where do you see social media livestreaming in the near and distant future going forward? Do you follow pages on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Periscope for live information consistently? What other ways can social media livestreams profit besides ads? Comment below!