I woke up this morning without access to a TV — I didn’t have time to go find a place to watch Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. So I decided to watch online. The problem was that just about every video-streaming service I’ve been trying hasn’t been able to stream without hiccups — not live-streaming sites Joost and Ustream (nor its iPhone application), not even the New York Times.

The best one that I’ve seen is CNN, both in terms of video quality and in terms of complementary features. CNN not only has the smoothest stream that I’ve seen today (although not perfect), the site includes real-time updates from your Facebook friends. This way you can both watch the inauguration, see what your Facebook friends are saying about it and comment on what they have to say. Everything happens instaneously. It’s the best integration of Facebook Connect that I’ve seen yet. See screenshot above.

Update: Facebook has provided some stats about traffic that its CNN integration got.

As of 10:15am PST:

-600,000 status updates have been posted so far through the CNN.com Live Facebook feed
-There were an average of 4,000 status updates every minute during the broadcast
-There were 8,500 status updates the minute Obama began his speech
-Obama’s page on Facebook has more than 4 million fans and more than 500,000 wall posts
-Millions of people logged into Facebook during the broadcast

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.