Facebook, applications

Facebook has really been doubling down on live videos of late. The company has made it clear time and again that it sees the future in live videos and as such, has been encouraging their propagation through various means. It’s efforts are finally yielding fruits and it appears as if one-fifth of all videos being shared on the social networking platform are live. What’s more, live broadcasting daily watch time has grown almost 4X in the past year alone.

The information comes via a Facebook post by Fidji Simo,  Facebook’s head of video. Commenting on the fact that it has been a year since the company first enabled live videos, she said:

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.

She added:

And now, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x. Every day, we get to enjoy new use cases for Live that we would never have thought about.

And this is certainly a huge milestone for Facebook, all the more important since it comes within the span of one short year. For social networks that must constantly evolve and pull users from their peers, a single feature or some features, can make all the difference. It doesn’t really matter if you are the biggest player out there. A single opponent with some innovative features can take you down. Remember Orkut for instance? Facebook was the platform that took it down thanks to a sharper user interface and better features.

The company has been very cautious in dealing with innovative, disruptive features since then. It either acquires the disruptor, or it rushes to emulate and introduce the features on its own platform in case the former strategy fails. Just consider Snapchat’s Stories for instance. The feature became popular and Facebook brought it to all of its properties, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Same with live videos. The feature really caught the wind late in 2015 when apps like Meerkat and Twitter’ Periscope started grabbing user attention. Users in their turn began thinking about “Wow, let’s share this moment with the rest of the world!“.

Facebook arrived rather late to the party but the awesome reach and financial clout it wields have helped the company catch up and even surpass its competitors. Live videos are now thriving on the social networking platform and it will likely be only a matter of time before people start posting Live videos as casually as they would a picture or a text status.

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