Why Facebook Live is Taking Over Livestreaming Video

First there was Meerkat. Then came Periscope. And then Facebook Live joined the mix – and has been gaining momentum ever since.

Livestreaming video is still a recent addition to social media, but it’s already had a huge impact on the way we interact with brands, celebrities and even politicians online.

Not convinced? Just take a look at the US House of Representatives right now.

Facebook Live NoBillNoBreakHouse Democrats have been staging a sit-in protest since Wednesday morning to try to push their Republican colleagues to a vote on a gun-control bill. Because the House isn’t formally in session, C-SPAN cameras aren’t allowed to film a feed from the floor – so instead, C-SPAN is airing live video shot on Periscope and Facebook Live.

“Facebook gives more people a voice in the political and legislative processes – and members of Congress broadcasting activity from the House floor using Facebook Live has made it easy for Americans to engage in the debate and make their opinion known,” said a company rep in a Variety article.

Take a moment to appreciate that. Elected officials are using social media livestreaming tools to communicate with the public, during a 1960s-style protest. These are the times we live in.

But while Periscope is still a contender in the livestreaming video space, Facebook live is killing it right now. Facebook reportedly signed contracts to pay more than $50 million to get nearly 140 media partners and celebrities, including the New York Times, BuzzFeed and Gordon Ramsay, to use Facebook Live. Facebook is making livestreaming a big priority, and you’ll likely notice the push in your own news feed soon.

Periscope – owned by Twitter – can get the attention of the social network’s 310 monthly users, but Facebook already has a much larger audience, with 1.65 billion monthly users. Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video in their news feeds every day, and it’s not a big leap for them to become livestreaming consumers. Facebook is savvy with its targeting, too; you get a notification whenever a friend or a Page you like starts broadcasting on Facebook Live – meaning you’re already primed to opt in.

Twitter isn’t giving up yet, however; it just announced the addition of a button on iOS and Android versions of the Twitter app that will let users to start streaming live on Periscope with one click. People will no longer have to go into the Periscope app to start livestreaming, which should make the user experience more seamless.

Periscope may be stepping up its game, but for now, our money is on Facebook Live.

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