The race to instantly record videos and share them, is well and truly on.
Last month Facebook announced the release of their Mentions app, a better way for public figures to interact with their fan base. These celebrities can now host live Q&A sessions, share updates across other social networks (including Instagram and Twitter), and more – enhancing the Facebook experience to share and connect with their audience. At this moment Mentions is still only available to verified Pages.
An additional feature for Mentions that was released on 5 August 2015 was Facebook Live, with which these public figures can now share real-time videos on Facebook. Regular users are able to view and comment on these videos. But Tech Crunch is reporting that soon Facebook will open up their video streaming services to verified Profiles as well. This will present others lower down on the celebrity scale with the chance of utilising this new feature, including journalists and politicians. Social marketers are getting excited.
With the availability of apps for live streaming video directly to Twitter, like Meerkat and Twitter’s very own Periscope (both available on both iOS and Android), it makes sense that Facebook is upping their video streaming game. Both these apps released in March 2015, and already boast significant user bases (Periscope reached 10 million users on 2 August 2015). Facebook is lagging behind, but they do have over 1.49 billion monthly active users as of June 30. So Zuckerberg and co should be confident that their social network will catch up soon.
Facebook has already shown their strong focus on gearing towards video content by even rivalling YouTube in terms of views. In April 2015 they reached the milestone of over 4 billion video views a day, increasing their numbers fourfold in a single year. Regardless of the controversy of how Facebook defines a single view, their growth over the last year has been simply staggering. Whereas people used to upload their videos to other networks and then share it on Facebook, they are now cutting out the middle man (sorry YouTube) and uploading their video content directly. Saving time and effort.
Allowing only verified Pages first access to Mentions, does give Facebook a platform in which to test their video streaming with a group of responsible content creators (because we know what the internet can get up to). But if Facebook does decide to grant access to these new apps and features to their entire user base, is another question altogether. But surely that question is rather “when” than “if”.