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Just before the New Year rolled in, we predicted Top Social Media Predictions For 2016 Top Social Media Predictions For 2016 This time last year, we published our 2015 social media predictions. It seems those predictions were proven accurate, so we thought we’d do the same for 2016. Read More 2016 to be the year in which live video streaming would explode. Facebook has just proven us right.

The 1.5-billion user company just made two major announcements. Both of these show Facebook’s commitment to ensure you enjoy as much live-streamed video as you can.

Live Streaming For Everyone

The first announcement is the grand expansion of Facebook’s live video-streaming service, Facebook Live. On his Facebook page, CEO Mark Zuckerber said, “Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world”. This live streaming capability has been available for major personalities and celebs since 2015 Facebook Live Debuts Real-Time Mobile Video Broadcasts (But Only for Celebs) Facebook Live Debuts Real-Time Mobile Video Broadcasts (But Only for Celebs) For celebrities, showing is better than telling. Facebook Live lets public figures broadcast a video, and fans get to interact with them in real time. Read More . Now it’s available to all of us (if you don’t have access yet, you will very soon).

To start your own live video stream, go to “update status” on your Facebook app. You’ll see a new live video button. Click that, and you’ll be guided through the very simple process. Facebook has released some useful tips for successful live streaming on its website. If you don’t want your video to be seen by everyone, you can broadcast only to select groups or events for additional privacy.

You’ll soon see more new features being released allowing you to add more text and filters to your videos.

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Facebook vs. YouTube?

The second announcement is the rollout of a video hub which will soon be replacing the Facebook app’s Messenger button. This is a video discovery Where Can I Find New Movies and TV Shows To Watch on Netflix? Where Can I Find New Movies and TV Shows To Watch on Netflix? Everybody loves Netflix, but can be hard to keep track of the shows arriving and departing from the service. Here are four websites that can help. Read More tab where you can find live and pre-recorded videos, rather than waiting for them to appear in your newsfeed.

Some are citing this as a “full assault on YouTube”. It’s probably not going to be that disruptive just yet, but it is going to open up a ton of new ways to publish and consume content on Facebook.

10 Uses for Facebook Live

Despite these features already being available on video streaming apps The Hottest Live-Streaming Social Apps You Need To Try The Hottest Live-Streaming Social Apps You Need To Try Instead of merely blogging, people are now sharing their expertise on YouTube, doing Q&As on Periscope and getting creative on Vine. And the audiences love it, because they can tune in while they get on... Read More like Snapchat and Meerkat, this is a big deal. When you stream on, say, Snapchat, you need a whole new audience 5 Tips For Building An Audience For Your Live Streaming Channel 5 Tips For Building An Audience For Your Live Streaming Channel Streaming content to a live audience for the first time can be nerve wracking. Find out how to draw loyal, regular viewers with best practices I learned in my first year on Twitch. Read More to broadcast to. With Facebook Live though, you can stream to your own family, friends, and fans right away. Your video will also be discoverable to new audience members while you’re live via the video hub.

It’s likely this will be a feature used mostly by celebs What Celebs Can Teach You About Rocking Instagram What Celebs Can Teach You About Rocking Instagram While most Instagram users have a couple hundred followers, millions follow celebrities. And with hundreds of celebs being able to rock Instagram so finely, what can we learn from them? Read More and brands to entertain their followers. But there will be other ways we can use Facebook Live, too. Let me give you a few examples. If you have more ideas, please share these in the comments!

Long-Distance Family Events

Too many times we miss a wedding, christening, or birthday party because it’s just too far away. With Facebook Live, these events can be streamed instantly to loved-ones back home who can’t make it. For those watching remotely, comments can be left so they can feel more involved with the event.

Live Q&As

Websites like Reddit and GrowthHackers already invite influencers and celebs to answer questions from their fans live (AMAs The Best Reddit AMAs Of All Time [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Best Reddit AMAs Of All Time [Weird & Wonderful Web] Under the IAmA subreddit, you'll find informal interviews with all sorts of interesting people. These are some of the best AMAs online. Read More ).

Fireside Chat

Expect to see many more of these being hosted on Facebook, where questions will be posted as the video is being streamed, and answers being provided there and then. Similarly, we’ll see more live interviews being streamed where audiences can react on the fly.

News Broadcasts

Facebook’s Product Management Director for video Fidji Simo told Tech Crunch that a few news outlets are being paid “directly by Facebook to cover their costs of broadcasting Live video on Facebook, rather than on their websites where they can monetize with ads”. If this proves successful, we can expect Facebook to become a natural publishing platform for some of these live news broadcasts The Best Alternatives to Google News That Help You Stay Current The Best Alternatives to Google News That Help You Stay Current While Google News is convenient and easy to use, there are other ways to get your mainstream, niche, or even personalized news, delivered to you on your desktop or on the go. Read More .

Sports Games

Twitter recently won a $10m contract WhatsApp Encrypts Everything, Twitter Streams NFL Games... [Tech News Digest] WhatsApp Encrypts Everything, Twitter Streams NFL Games... [Tech News Digest] WhatsApp goes all-in on encryption, Twitter streams NFL games, PS4 owners play games on their PC or Mac, Etsy launches a website builder, and the best texting-while-driving ad you've ever seen. Read More to stream Thursday NFL games. Up to now, Twitter has been the natural place for viewers to react to live events, so streaming sports on the platform makes sense. But with its larger user base and war chest, Facebook could be winning far more sports streaming rights in the future.

Voyeurism

Influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and plenty of celebs already share snippets of their day on Snapchat and Instagram. This behind the scenes look at how others are spending their time is irresistible to many.

Facebook Live

This is why it’s going to be a common use of Facebook Live for bloggers, vloggers Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers Read More , and celebs. The ability to see what would otherwise be unseen. To peer into the lives of those the fans admire — it’s Facebook’s recipe for success.

Conferences

Thousands of conferences are held each year covering every interest imaginable. Unfortunately, many people who’d love to attend simply can’t. If the best parts of these conferences 7 Ways To Plan Ahead & Prepare For Your Next Business Conference 7 Ways To Plan Ahead & Prepare For Your Next Business Conference Get the most out of your upcoming business conference. Plan ahead and take full advantage of the chance to network with people in your industry. New opportunities could come your way with these tips. Read More are streamed live, those who can’t attend can still listen to the talks, and experience the general vibe of the event. The same goes for other one-time events, from gigs to theater productions.

Reactions and Rants

Whether broadcast by YouTubers, Journalists, or anyone else, Facebook Live will be used to stream on-the-fly, unedited reactions and over-the-top rants Everything's Worth A Rant: David Mitchell's SoapBox on YouTube [Stuff to Watch] Everything's Worth A Rant: David Mitchell's SoapBox on YouTube [Stuff to Watch] Read More  on current affairs, celeb gossip, and political rallies. Some will go viral. Some will be seen by only your close friends.

Take the video above, which shows a YouTuber ranting about an experience at Subway, which was previously mentioned on a live chat she hosted. This is the kind of content that could could easily go viral on Facebook Live.

Product Placement

Imagine the number of people who would watch a live stream from Justin Bieber. The huge audience this stream would attract will generate huge interest from corporations. We can expect large payments to be made to The Biebs to drink a drink, unwrap a product, or play with an app, live. If you can build a large audience, this vlogging business model could be achievable, too.

How-to Videos (Especially Cooking)

You may have noticed the increased popularity of recipe videos and gifs being posted to Facebook in the past few months.

Jamie Oliver Recipe

Now picture those recipes (or any other how-to video) being streamed live. The audience can react, ask questions, and clarify any of the steps with the teacher, thereby making this content especially valuable. In this case, the 1.3m people who’ve watched Jamie Oliver show them how to make pesto (above) would likely be much higher.

Webinars

For the past couple of years, a large number of free webinars have been hosted on Google Hangouts or other third-party apps. Though with so many of the people we meet being Facebook users, hosting these webinars on Facebook makes a lot of sense. This would be far easier than asking people to sign up to an entirely new video streaming service. All we’d have to do is tell people to join a Facebook Live stream at a certain time, and the webinar will be streamed.

An Interesting Development

When we predicted that live streaming would become huge in 2016, we also predicted that Facebook would become more of a content distribution platform. This is a big shift away from being a social platform, but it’s what seems to be happening.

Most people will not stream live videos of themselves eating their lunch, or sipping a cocktail. But many people will subscribe to celebs and influencers who produce content they love.

Facebook live Reactions

Facebook Live shifts Facebook more into the realm of being a place to consume and share content, rather than a place simply to be social with our family and friends.

When I looked at the first 30 items on my newsfeed today, only 10 were “status updates”. The other 20 consisted of shared links and videos. This is a sign of what’s to come with Facebook. All we can hope is that the live videos we watch actually add some value to our day.

Is Facebook Live something you can see yourself using? If so, would you use it as a consumer, or a producer? And do you think this is a good or bad move by Facebook?

  1. Jennifer moleski
    December 7, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I love the idea. For my iamWaitress.com website, I can see it being very helpful for my audience.

  2. Steven Addy
    October 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Don't like algo feeds. Further, it's no longer a 'timeline' if posts are being mixed around based on another factor.

    The problem is that the world is chronological so it makes sense that you would see things unfold chronologically regardless as to whether there was a more interesting conversation that you missed, besides, it's a bot deciding what is more interesting anyway, which is a mistake.

    I liken this to the laziness of automobile backup cameras or proximity detection, are we too lazy to look behind/ around us anymore before we drive? Are we too lazy to read back through posts anymore to find something interesting? Would seem so.

    Finally, users who become frustrated with the lack of a chronological 'anchoring' give up and quit because there is no foundation under what's being viewed or read...it's just a blob of crap that someone else wants (and perhaps has motivation for ) you to read.

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      You can view a more chronological newsfeed in Facebook. To do this,hen you’re browsing your Facebook newsfeed, click the dropdown menu next to Newsfeed in the left column, and select Most recent. Your newsfeed will now (temporarily) display more than just the top stories from your network.

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