Facebook yesterday announced its entry into the growing world of live video, a move that could eventually have big implications for marketers.
So, right now brands aren’t involved, but they very well might be in the latter part of 2016. Facebook is likely to spend the next year tweaking and stabilizing the feature, paying close attention to how many people use it, how often, and for how long. The feature is baked into the main Facebook mobile, not broken off into a separate app, like Messenger, and this should increase user uptake.
Facebook could open Live Video to brands by extending the feature to Pages.
Brands are already using Periscope and Meerkat as new way of telling their stories to a younger, more mobile crowd. Several of these brands displayed their live video work in a panel at ad:tech last month.
But, so far, many of these live streaming services seem like one-to-many mass broadcasting. Sure, viewers can make comments, but the interaction is pretty much limited to that, while engagement tracking and targeting functionality just isn’t there yet. That’s why Facebook’s (predictable) entry into the space could end up being a game changer.
Facebook has some of the best data scientists in the world. It also has lots of existing systems for fine segmentation and audience targeting, as well as analytics engines to measure engagement and performance.
This is the kind of thing that Facebook may be able to bring to the branding side of live video — something that platforms with less marketing experience might not be able to offer.
Facebook also has a huge reach, and to a much more varied audience. The research says that mobile users spend 82 percent of their time in apps, and the Facebook app is the one in which users spend the most time.
In August, Periscope said it had picked up 10 million users in four and a half months. My guess is that Facebook could pick up live video users even faster.