Everything You Need To Know About Facebook’s New Live Video Feature

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Facebook just recently made a pretty big announcement, though I’ll need to do a bit of explaining if I’m to justify exactly why it’s big. See, as some of you may already know, there’s this application called Facebook Mentions. It’s a celebrity-only application that allows its users to view a stream of posts that mention them, find trending topics relevant to their brand, and hold Q&A sessions with fans.

Facebook has been working on it for a little while now – according to The Verge, it was in testing as early as 2013 – and since its launch, it’s only been made available on iOS. It’s enjoyed a middling sort of popularity, and as of this year is used by thousands of celebrities. It’s tough to say exactly what sort of impact it’s made in the social media presence of those who use it, but its continued popularity seems, at least for the moment, to be a good sign.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because Facebook just launched a new feature for Mentions, and it’s one that might change how many celebrities use the app. It’s also a feature that’s likely to make some pretty big waves in event management. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Live.

“Starting today, public figures can share live video from Facebook Mentions, the app that makes it easy for athletes, musicians, politicians, and other influencers to talk with their fans and each other,” reads a Facebook Newsroom announcement. “You can discover these live videos from public figures you follow in your newsfeed.”

“Live is an immersive and authentic way to connect with the public figures you care about, in real-time,” it continues. “If you don’t catch the live broadcast, you can also watch the video later on the public figure’s Page.”

Alright. So it’s a feature that that allows celebrities to stream live video through their smartphone, and share it with fans. Aren’t there already apps for that?

Well, yes – but they’re not exactly perfect.

“[Videos] are immediately deleted on Meerkat, and only live for 24 hours on Periscope,” explains Techcrunch’s John Constine. “[Live Product Manager Vadim] Lavusrik tells me 53 percent of Facebook video views come from re-shares, which would probably happen after a broadcast ends.”

Add in the fact that most public figures already have fairly large followings on Facebook, and the benefits of Live rapidly become clear – for Facebook as well as for Live’s users.

“If Facebook can use the same reach that attracted celebrities in the first place to invade live-streaming, it could create tons of compelling video content to fill its feed and mask its ads,” notes Constine. “While some users might be bitter that they can’t stream on Facebook Live yet, it could actually prevent users from getting sick of the feature. Periscope and Meerkat are plagued by users sending crappy “Hello world” or “Here’s my breakfast” streams that annoy their friends with notifications. Letting only celebrities use it first could teach users when they have a moment worth streaming.”

But what does any of this have to do with event management?

Think about it. Right now, if you manage to get a celebrity or major influencer to attend one of your events, they might upload a few pictures, livetweet about it, or write up a status update. With Live, they can actually give their fans a video of whatever event they’re attending, interacting directly with them in the process. And given that those live videos can be tagged with a location, like all other Facebook posts, that makes for some very effective event marketing.

After all, it’s pretty widely known that video is the most engaging format from a content marketing standpoint. That’s even truer when that video is timely, relevant, and shared by a trusted influencer. So, in short, although Facebook’s Live feature probably isn’t going to be available to the general public anytime soon, it’s still a very, very good thing for event organizers.

And it’s definitely made influencers that much more valuable.