Since its inception in May 2016, FB live videos have kicked the imagination of many celebrities, activists, artists and ordinary people alike. Though live video broadcasting was initially launched for verified FB accounts and public figures through FB Mentions, FB live was also made available to everyone with an FB account in April 2016.
Though FB lives works the same as its predecessor live video stream apps such as Periscope and Meerkat; the defining difference lies in the vast audience that Facebook possesses by default. Users need to merely ‘turn on’ push notifications of their favorite personalities, and whenever that person goes live, users get notified in their news feed. There is also the Live video metrics that can be viewed such as ‘Peak Live viewers,’ ‘Minutes viewed,’ ‘Unique viewers,’ ‘Views,’ ‘Average % Completion’ and so on.
What interests me is how people with non-verified accounts make use of the Live video feature. An excellent example is the ‘Chewbacca mask Mom’ video by Candace Payne. This ‘simple-yet-so-hilarious’ video was viewed more than 150 million times in FB.
I remember a couple of years ago when my friends along with their wedding invitation would also share a Live streaming link so that those of us who couldn’t make it to the wedding were able to watch the wedding at least live from anywhere around the world. I think that was one of the most exciting live video format that I have been a part of, apart from of course watching live tennis, football matches, and Olympic games. Now, I guess we no longer need a ‘website link’ that has to be shared much before an event. We ‘Go Live’ and broadcast it to selected people in our FB groups and they can instantly receive notification and even like, comment, share their reactions live!
These are exciting times when musicians, actors, athletes, chefs, journalists and even politicians are going Live to connect with their audience/fans, get their feedbacks instantly and in turn, people are getting a sneak peek into their favorite celebrity’s life. I loved the live video of Lin Manuel Miranda’s rap with President Obama at the white house. To use our smartphone to share exciting moments with family and close friends instantly is what makes technology so awesome in bridging distances and time in the 21st century.