- A Facebook post by VP of Product Fidji Simo about Facebook Live a year after its launch pointed out that live broadcasts now make up 20% of video on the platform, with the number of broadcasts having grown more than 4x over the last year.
- “We’ve focused on making the Facebook Live experience more engaging, more fun, and more social. We’ve added live masks and new creative effects, built features that give publishers more control and flexibility over their broadcasts, and rolled out exciting new formats like Live 360 or Live Audio,” Simo wrote in the post.
- The post also said Facebook Live is “still at the beginning of our journey," with new uses cases becoming apparent every day.
Last year Facebook went all in on video, making news feed algorithm changes that emphasized video. It also heavily promoted live video, going so far as to launch a major advertising campaign including linear TV spots for Facebook Live.
Despite the promising results for Live revealed in Simo's blog post, the first year of Facebook Live hasn’t been without growing pains with multiple instances of people live broadcasting criminal activity on the platform. There are signs that Facebook may not be as bullish about Live as it was last year because of the extreme content as well as reports that publishers have been unimpressed with viewership and engagement results.
Instances where live videos have gone viral, like Candace Payne's Chewbacca Mom video, highlighting live streaming's potential for authentic, feel-good moments. For marketers, Facebook Live has shown it offers a unique way to give an audience a peek into real-time activities including everything from simply broadcasting an event or launch to providing viewers with behind-the-scenes or backstage access not found any other place. But with concern growing over brand safety, it seems likely that Facebook is getting some pushback from marketers about the content on Facebook Live, which has the potential to hinder the platform's efforts to monetize the offering via ads.
Facing competition in live video from the likes of YouTube and Twitter, Facebook continues to make Live attractive for broadcasters with enhancements like allowing for high-quality stream with multiple cameras for professional video teams and giving the live video button a prominent spot on the mobile app, and of course providing marketers access to its massive user base as a potential audience for live broadcasts.