How Live Streaming Dominates the Social Media Landscape

It has been more than a couple of decades since the birth of the internet, and it would be safe to say, we have just barely scratched the surface of all that we can do with it. Social media has grown into a massive part of the web. It has become such an integral part of the web, that no matter which website you register for these days have social media like characteristics. For example, integration of Facebook logins and Google logins, chats answering business queries, live streaming and the list goes on.

It has also evolved into a BIG industry with different trends driving it every year. Speaking of trends in social media, in recent years, live streaming has seen an exponential increase in popularity. This article aims to have a brief look at this new trend of live streaming and how is it shaping the social media of 2018.

Live Streaming on Social Media

As the name suggests, in live streaming the image or video is viewed by the user in real time, i.e., as it is being recorded. With an uptake in the amount of reality television series, this concept of uploading live videos has received a lot of attention.

Live streaming has become the new big thing on social media, and it has been estimated that it would bring in revenues equivalent to $70.5 Billion by the year 2021. This won’t come as a shock to you when you realize that 70-80% of customers prefer watching live videos.

From the Beginning

  • In 2011, an app was created called YouNow, and this was where live streaming found its beginning.
  • After three years, in 2014, the juggernaut Snapchat changed the social media game forever with respect to live streaming.
  • Soon other heavy hitters in social media started to notice the possibilities in live streaming and in 2015, Twitter, acquired Periscope which was a live streaming app. In 2016, Periscope became an integral part of the social platform.
  • Facebook was not far behind Twitter, as in 2016 they came up with Facebook live. Following suit with all others, YouTube announced live streaming in mobile devices.
  • Today, all the big four in social media, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube come integrated with live streaming.

Popular Platforms

  • Periscope

The periscope was acquired by Twitter in 2015 and in 2016 integrated into their social media platform. Currently, Periscope has 10 million users and sees daily traffic of about 2 million users. Based on their database, since 2016 there have been 200 million broadcasted hours, out of which 350,000 take place every day.

  • Facebook Live

It was only about time that the leading name in social media would jump into the live streaming game. Around the same time as Twitter was integrating Periscope into their social media platform, Facebook came up with Facebook live. Facebook has always been known to try all things new in order to build their popularity and revenue. They have been able to do the same in case of their live streaming option by taking the best that they could find in all the popular live streaming apps and combine them to form something unique.

  • YouTube Live

As the social media platform which was built on uploading videos, it is not a shock that YouTube jumped in the game. YouTube makes it easy for you to shoot and post videos, which makes it one of the most sought-after live streaming app.

  • Instagram Live Story

Instagram took the idea from Snapchat and made it completely their own. Through their Instagram stories feature, Instagram gives an option to live to stream your videos. It also comes with a real-time commenting option which mimic’s your standard chat room style posting.

Shaping the World with Live Streaming

If there is anything we have learned, it is that any social media tool can be used in order to make your brand visible. This can be done by any of the following ways:

  • Provide customer service
  • Make announcements or updates
  • Organize Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions
  • Stream live events
  • Do behind-the-scenes videos
  • Conduct live interviews

The Uploader & The Viewer

The current statistics of the viewership of live streams is available or the States, however, the trend is the same all around. Users ranging from the age group of 13-17 and 18-34 are the major spectators of live streamed content. While 53% of the most watched live streams are funny / entertainment videos, 29% of the most watched live stream videos are sports related.

Parameter Percentage (%)
Mobility 51%
Excitement 59%
Multi-tasking Ability 48%

Live streaming is the new face of social media, and it will remain to be so till we find the next new way of keeping ourselves amused. The appeal of the live stream comes for the simple fact that the viewer feels more connected to the uploader as the video is being shot. It is raw, uncut and unscripted which means there is also the anticipation that anything could happen to it. Live streaming is here to stay, and it shall remain here for quite some time. Cheers!

Author: Amanda Smith is a marketing consultant at StreamHash, with expertise in strategies to engage customers and improve business opportunities. Interested in marketing communications and like to keep abreast of new trends and developments.