Live Streaming on Social Media is the Future and We’ve Certainly Arrived

Live Streaming on Social Media is the Future and We’ve Certainly Arrived


The beauty of social media is the ability for all of us, the users, to generate original content. With the development of live stream video rolling out across a variety of social platforms, another world of creation has been born. From Facebook and Instagram live video to Snapchat Stories, it was recently reported that 89 percent of people who watched live streams have watched content from brands at least once. For brands, this way of connecting with the consumer is raw (think behind-the-scenes footage) and innovative. While Facebook Live is touted with being the most popular

platform for people to view live video streams on, other social platforms – both owned by the social media giant and standalone apps have taken note. Below, we review the various live streaming platforms.


Periscope: Periscope was created solely as a livestreaming app. You could argue they were ahead of their time when the developers introduced Periscope, but since the introduction of the below livestreaming services, Periscope failed to update with the changing times. The app started out at number 23 on the overall iOS app charges this past January, but currently sits at number 441. Owned by Twitter, Periscope lacks the easy-to-use features. The app has failed to maintain momentum largely because after it was acquired, the apps ability to remain independent of other social platforms was lost. This in turn caused Periscope to have no user base to build off, and instead was just an added feature for Twitter users. It is entirely up to Twitter to reinvigorate Periscope, who can be credited as one of the first apps to enter the livestreaming space.


Facebook Live: The only thing you need to do to “go Live” is your phone and a good internet connection. Part of what makes Facebook Live so appealing is how easy it is to stream a video. With little effort, you can record anything. If you “follow/subscribe” to people your friends with or one of the brands you have “liked” on the social platform, you’ll receive a notification when the person has gone live, and you can tune in simply by clicking the notification. For example, as we write this, we’re watching CNN’s livestream Eagle Cam in Southwest Florida, as we wait for two eagle eggs to hatch, all because we follow CNN on Facebook. What’s also neat about Facebook Live is that your livestreaming content is available long after you have shut down your camera. You can go back and look at what’s been recorded live whenever you want. In the event that your audience wasn’t able to see the content live, they too can go back and look at what was recorded. That, in a nutshell, is the beauty of livestream – you can watch a variety of things in real-time.


Instagram: Instagram rolled out live-streaming on their app just last month, but already it is taking over live content creation on mobile.  Unlike Facebook live, the content you livestream for your followers is gone once the user is done recording. The content will completely disappear altogether. While Instagram has been largely known for copying many of the features Snapchat is credited with creating, it doesn’t seem to be hurting the company for lack of original creativity Maybe


Snapchat: You can’t livestream using Snapchat, but we’re including it here because Snapchat has been a large part of the evolution of user-generated content. Instead of going live, you can create a series of content that can feature videos and images, and will play in a loop. While this content isn’t live, similarly to instant content that is livestreamed, you cannot edit your photos or videos once they’ve been published to your followers. For the immediate future, Snapchat plans on remaining as a photo/video sharing app, but there are rumors that the company plans to make livestreaming part of their app. From a brand perspective, there is the option for companies and the like to be featured in the “discover” page of the app. From here, brands can better target their audience by reading the data that suggests what users look at through the app.


Interface of Snapchat’s Discovery page, courtesy of Tech Crunch.                                  

From TV to live streaming, we as consumers have been trained to watch a screen. Livestreaming is quite literally at our fingertips now, which makes what we watch and what we record instantly accessible. Since live streaming via social platform was introduced, we have seen monumental growth across all platforms offering the feature. Whether you use it to stay up to date on the latest brands, tune in for the breaking news aspect, or simply use it to livestream your child’s first steps, we’re positive social live streaming is here to stay.