Mark Zuckerberg’s First Live Stream Shows Facebook’s Video Ambition

In order to obtain more video inventory for advertising, Facebook could eventually roll out its live-streaming feature to the masses.

Date published
September 15, 2015 Categories

Facebook’s chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg posted his first live stream last night via the platform’s Mentions app, showing the company’s ambition to become a video empire.

In his first live video, Zuckerberg gives a tour of the new Facebook headquarters, demonstrating that Facebook’s live-streaming feature is vivid and fun to play with. Currently, this functionality in Facebook’s Mentions app is only available to celebrities with a verified page. Many in the industry predict that Facebook’s live-streaming feature will soon become accessible to everyone, as this is similar to past ad product roll out patterns of starting with large brand advertisers and then expanding to smaller ones.

Facebook is very smart. Now the company is focused on influencers, and I guess it will quickly open up to everybody. What will happen is, people who are doing well on Periscope will start testing live streams on Facebook as well to see which platform works better,” says Joel Holland, founder and CEO of stock video company VideoBlocks.

“While lots of people are sitting back and watching [to see] if live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat can actually become the next big marketing avenue, Facebook doesn’t want to be left behind. The platform started testing live-streaming slowly and carefully – not widely opening it, but instead only allowing verified users to use this feature,” Holland adds.

Online reports show that Facebook users have watched an average of 4 billion videos on a daily basis – quadruple the number of 2014. According to Holland, if Facebook adds a live-streaming feature to its growing video operations, the platform could get another 100 to 200 million video streams per month, and thus have more video inventory to advertise on.

There’s one big difference between Facebook live-streaming and Periscope or Meerkat: if Facebook users miss a live stream, they can catch the video later. Periscope and Meerkat remove videos after 24 hours.

Although no one really knows which format is better for the time being, Holland predicts that Facebook will win the game.

“One of the models will work better, and the other will fail. My guess is that archiving will become standard,” he notes. “From a branding perspective, it’s better for a brand to take the time to do a live video and put additional thoughts on it. For example, if an email marketing company does a broadcast on ’10 Email Marketing Tips,’ it wants to build an archive for its tutorials.”

Facebook was not available to comment on the story. The company debuted Mentions in July of 2014 to help celebrities monitor and respond to the large amount of posts and mentions they receive. If they like live broadcasting on Facebook, chances are their fans will follow suit.

Homepage image via Shutterstock

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