By Linh Nguyen Mai Khanh | February 27, 2017
The hashtag #livestreaming is mentioned more than 3300 times on the Internet in one month last year, on average. The word “live streaming” also appeared in almost every article about social network trends in 2016 and 2017. These facts show that live-streaming has held sway over the world recently. In this following article, Mobytelab would like to reveal some secrets behind the rising popularity of it.
Surprisingly, live-streaming is not as new as it may seem. In fact, it has been around in one form or another since the 1990s. On September 4th, 1951, Harry Truman spoke at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco. It made the first live, coast-to-coast TV broadcast ever in the history. Four months later, The Today Show became the first broadcast morning news program airing live in the U.S. Since then, people started to be fascinated in streaming live videos.
The first company to “brand” live streaming online is ‘Livestream’, and they consequently became a leader in the field. Sites like Livestream and Ustream have stayed around for years offering the original functions of live-streaming.
While live videos have been around for many years, the rise of social media now is taking it to the next level. You can now easily broadcast and stream live videos from any devices, anywhere on the planet with just basic technical skills. Everyone is already using social media as a hobby – which guaranteed your audience and the discovery of your videos.
Live streaming video on social media was first brought into the limelight by Twitter’s Periscope in 2015. Since then, Twitter has featured many curated streams around the app. Now, it has also integrated the service into the native Twitter app so that users can go live anytime.
YouTube had originally launched the live streaming feature in 2011, but it began experimenting with mobile streaming only recently. Last year, YouTube has enabled the live-stream option for smartphone users who have more than 10,000 subscribers. At a later stage, it plans to roll it out for all users. To monetise live streaming, in addition to the ads, YouTube also allows users to purchase access to premium comments that stay on top of the comment thread making it more likely for the creator to take notice.
Last but not least, one of the most popular competitors has entered the live streaming world – Facebook with Facebook Live. It sends out early notifications and allows people to invite friends and followers to watch and interact in real time. Plus, it’s free! Facebook Live is the most impressive streaming platform via social networks that made the biggest impact last year. The launch of Facebook Live has been mainly responsible for the strong growth of the custom of live-streaming, especially among the youth.
Live-streaming is becoming a global trend as 90% of the top media publishers of Facebook Live videos are non-U.S, and 70% do not publish in English. The hot trend is not cooling down within the last year. The number of streamed videos in June is 6 times as many as that in January. Young people (under age 35) are more likely to use online streaming than any other age groups.
This quick spreading can be explained by the snowball effect. One person cannot make a successful live-streaming video if he has no viewers or interactions. Therefore, he must attract his community to be involved in the “stream”. And each member of his community would potentially be interested and do the same, which gains another group of people getting to know and doing live-streaming. By this way, the small snowball is getting bigger and bigger as it is rolling continuously on its path.
Live streaming has taken one great leap by breaking out of the personal frame and stepped into the professional business, as companies started to realize the benefits and gradually implemented it into their publishing strategies. Half of all big media pages have published live videos, and the percentage of live videos posted on Facebook is increasing while the percentage of non-live videos stays even.
Most recently we have seen big brands use live videos in various ways, from Marc Jacobs used a live video to give a sneak peak of their 2016 fashion line, The Tonight Show provided a live backstage footage before the show, and Madden video games live streamed the behind-the-scenes coverage of players. An interesting info is that three recent historic live-streams came from an unexpected source: NASA, including live streams of New Horizons passing Pluto, the supermoon (blood moon) and the announcement that Mars has the potential to become habitable.
The perfect overlap of technology and the accessibility of social networking sites makes live streaming almost effortless nowadays: high-quality cameras to shoot videos, smartphones, the Internet and good social platforms to broadcast and watch lively videos anywhere at anytime.
The advantage of technology is sure to help, but live-streaming must have had its own benefits to make itself a hot topic last years, especially among youngsters.
It is easy to see the attraction live-streaming holds for social networks. The first thing to mention is its ability to make viewers feel like they are ‘in the moment’. In the past, we watched these events on videos after they have already happened. But it does feel more excited and precious to take part in the precise moments as they happen, doesn’t it?
For businesses, engaging with your audience in real time through videos is now becoming an unprecedented opportunity to your social strategy. Live videos engage individuals to your brand in real time, which is much more powerful than recorded content. It boosts your brand engagement in a much faster way with less time spent on the production process. Not to say it gives you many ways of promoting your business such as behind-the-scenes videos, events live-broadcasting, tutorials, demonstrations, live Q&A sessions, breaking news etc.
In social media, pictures engage more than text alone, videos engage more than pictures, and live videos are proven to even get 10 times more engagement than standard videos. Even better, according to more research by Facebook, users watch live videos more than 3 times longer, in contrast to posted videos.
Surely there are doubts in what is shared on social media is not as same as the real life of the owner, but has been arranged. Live-streaming videos give a glimpse of reality because it doesn’t support editing or picking the best parts. It humanizes people and brands in the way that images and recorded videos can’t.
Instagram is now testing their own live video option, and they won’t be the last platform to implement this. The whole world of media is changing thanks to live videos.
It is predictable that live streaming is likely to be the new social networks for the youth. Live streaming requires creativity and interaction, and it is a trendy way of creating and expanding global community, which fascinates young generation. A promising new era of social networks with live, authentic content: Anyone can broadcast their own show, get their own viewers and receive instantaneous feedbacks. It has already taken off and does not seem to be going down for the next few years.
Live streaming is in its propitious stage of creating the next revolution in social media. Mobytelab’s advice is that it is crucial to catch this trend early on and use it for your business marketing. Have you succeeded in turning this innovative trend into your own achievement? If not, you would rather try it now!