Livestreaming capabilities through social media apps are becoming the new norm for popular brands and celebrities, and increasingly for users at large. The factors fueling this growth are associated with the continuous move towards video content, the introduction of new, and free, livestreaming platforms, as well as integrations in pre-existing social media platforms. This simplifies the process to the extent that practically any user nowadays can begin livestreaming at the touch of a button. With that in mind, I examine the livestreaming options across some of the key social media platforms and how best brands can leverage:
Periscope is a livestreaming video sharing app that was rolled out by Twitter in order to compete with another pre-existing live streaming app, Meerkat, and has attracted a lot users in the recent years through innovative ways. Periscope offers the feature to save the shared videos for the following 24 hours. It also provides live engagement features such as likes and comments which would be visible to all users who are joining the livestream. When users want to start a new livestream, Periscope generates a tweet notifying others about that. Many brands have used this app in various ways, the majority of which have used it to livestream their events. However, this app has a lot to offer to brands such as interactive customer service, new demos, leveraging transparency, interviews, featuring behind the sense highlights, running Q and A session, and it will be interesting to see how creative brands will get in utilizing all the possibilities on the platform
Although it was initially only available to celebrities and selected users, Facebook live video streaming is now available for all users on the platform. This feature shows live data such as likes count, current views, and broadcasting duration. Facebook also provides users the option to send a Facebook status to their friends and fans notifying them that they will go live. However, unlike Periscope, livestreams remain on the users’ timeline once they are over and other users can still interact with that.
While Snapchat is not a livestreaming app per se, brands and users alike still use it to cover events and share highlights in a real-time sense. Snapchat is increasingly becoming a great livestreaming platform in its own sense, especially for younger users who favor this platform’s due it’s higher privacy perception and the ephemeral nature of the content (stories published on Snapchat only remain for 24 hours, while private messages are also only viewable once). Followers can also directly interact with snaps on Snapchat by leaving comments about certain parts of snaps. However, these comments can only be viewed by the owners of the snaps. We’ll continue to see how brands can leverage this platform to engage users through creative “stories”.
Looking at the social media scene, the growth in livestreaming capabilities, and the steady move towards video content in general we cannot stress enough the growing need for “faster”, in-the-moment, and spontaneous content. Users are clearly starting to enjoy and expect more and more, both from their friends, and from the brands that they follow. So brand managers need to embrace this trend or get left behind in this increasingly video friendly world.