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Facebook launched a new live video streaming feature yesterday. The new feature is similar to live streaming apps Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope, and lets Facebook users stream live videos to their followers. At the moment the feature is only available for public figures, such as celebrities and politicians, through Facebook’s celebrity-only Mentions app. However, we think the feature will eventually role out to all Facebook users.
Facebook’s new live streaming feature has several major advantages over the current crop of live streaming apps.
- Facebook’s massive mobile user base could bring live streaming to the mainstream. The social network already reaches more than 1.3 billion mobile users globally. Meanwhile, fledgling competitors Periscope and Meerkat have only gained popularity among a much smaller group of tech-savvy users.
- The social network could combine the new live streaming feature with its recently launched “Place Tips” feature. Place Tips allows users to follow a feed of posts, images, and videos based on live events, similar to Snapchat Stories. Facebook could easily integrate live video streams into this feed.
- Facebook’s targeted ads could help publishers monetise their live content. Unlike Snapchat and Meerkat, Facebook allows marketers to buy targeted ads. These ads could help publishers turn live events broadcast through the new feature into a meaningful revenue stream, which in turn could encourage more publishers to stream content through Facebook.
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