In July this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced it would make video the forefront of Facebook; to make it “video first”. Since then we have seen the rise of Facebook Live, with many holiday-makers, DJ’s, debates and more ’going live’ from around the globe. What’s more, news has always been at the heart of Facebook’s strengths, and it has recently been announced that Facebook Live will be live-streaming the US Presidential debate. The live streaming of the Minnesota shootings received an audience of 5.7 million, rivalling that of major broadcasting channels.
But it’s this live broadcasting that has traditionally been television’s protection, it’s USP against the internet. People now have access to these videos and news updates wherever they are. So will these new videos take us from away from our television screens and onto our mobiles, laptops and tablets?
The general consensus is no – television has no need to fear. Facebook Live can be used not as a competitor, but also to complement TV shows. Programmes such as The Great British Bake Off are demonstrating this – the series itself has over 13 million viewers who tune in every week, but on top of this, fans can tune in live to GBBO parties on Facebook, creating an event-like, intimate experience. The 1:1 feel and ease of access of these videos is what makes them so great.
It seems that to turn Facebook Live into a success, we should view it as a platform for the masses to share an experience, such as an event or show, and leave everyday viewing to TV.