Facebook Live: What is it, and why should you be using it?

It’s no secret that video is continuing to surge in popularity. Over 100 million people now watch video online every day, proving that it really is the way that people are choosing to either gather information, or for entertainment. It’s where your audience is.

Facebook Live was rolled out to chosen users back in August 2015, but has only recently been released to all users. Like Snapchat and Periscope, it allows people, brands, or influencers to share real time, live updates with their followers but unlike its rivals, videos don’t self-delete and disappear after 24 hours.

There are many benefits to using Facebook Live. Consumers are constantly looking for more interaction and access to their favourite brands. Facebook Live allows viewers to see snippets of behind the scenes footage that wouldn’t otherwise be available. Viewers now want transparency from brands, and know that one way or another, they can get it. Unlike YouTube, live streaming on Facebook Live doesn’t allow editing, and this is one of the best features of the platform and the way consumers get the transparency they crave.

Following a live stream, the video is then uploaded to either the brand or user’s timeline. From there, it can be shared across both Facebook and other platforms including Twitter, embedded into a blog post, or even deleted. Another benefit to Facebook Live is that users can set the privacy of their live streams much like a regular update. This means the video can be shared among friends, friends of friends, or be entirely public – the choice is yours.

There are many ways Facebook Live can be utilised, including behind the scenes snippets, interviews and Q&As, demonstrations and how tos, tips and tricks, updates, and breaking news. During a live stream, you are able to see the names of people watching and what they are commenting – perfect for answering any questions that may occur during the video. You can also see the reactions of viewers in real time.

The final benefit, and one that may not seem too obvious at first is that due to Facebook Live being relatively new, Facebook are prioritising and promoting live video, meaning your video will have a higher reach than other posts on your page. This is because Facebook want more people to use the feature, so will therefore push your content (and their platform) in front of more people – a great excuse to be one of the first to jump on board!

What do you think? Will you be taking part in Facebook Live?