Over the past year, it seems as though almost everyone is going “live.” You know, those notifications on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram giving us real-time looks or even exclusive, behind the scenes footage. Yes, this phenomenon on our social feeds has only increased to becoming almost a daily occurrence, meaning it’s not going away anytime soon.
While the practice of live streaming has been around longer than the webcam, the usage of it on social media is still in its infancy. Of course, a this evolution stems from the natural progression from simply taking short videos on mobile phones to broadcasting them on social networks. We now look towards social as one of our primary providers of news and entertainment, with live feeds giving us an immediate look at the world.
Whether it be a music festival or protest, we’re constantly seeing events as they unfold. And when we think back to the power that social media has brought on in the past, this is only going to add more fuel to the fire. The influence that live streaming is only going to get more powerful in the future, as people will find usage for it like we’ve never seen before. Even as much as it seemed like the next logical step, live streaming is an enormous step towards changing social media forever.
Live Streaming Has Exploded
If you’re on Facebook, then at some point today you’ll most likely receive a notification that some person or company is “Live.” It’s no secret why Facebook promotes these posts as they not only are happening in real time, but that immediate access plays a significant role in looking at our audience as well as when they’re participating.
And while Facebook has been one of the most prominent players in the world of live streaming, other social platforms have started to catch on to the wave as well. The current trend has shown YouTube and Facebook being tied almost neck-and-neck, with Snapchat closely behind.
One insight gleaned from this new trend is the growing relationship of streaming platforms, like Netflix and Hulu, opening the door for us to receive live content on social platforms. As we’ve gravitated away from our TV’s and more towards our phones, tablets, and computer, these outlets have become primary sources to receiving news and entertainment. In fact, this change has been occurring so rapidly that the most recent presidential debates were some of the most popular live streams in history. However, it’s not just news and media outlets taking part as brands have been entering the live streaming realm too.
Where Brands Fit In
Brands usage of live streaming has entered the market in a variety of different ways. From product launches to social campaigns, live streams have provided brands with an opportunity to connect with their audiences in real-time in a way we haven’t seen before.
Viewers can now react as an event is happening, giving marketers immediate feedback into gauging the response of a campaign or product. More, this can help curb “social media” disasters as if the video is getting a poor response; then they can cut the cord immediately. In yet, so far the responses have been great, giving marketers and brands a leg up in terms of creating more engagement within their community.
With New Trends, The Tech Is To Follow
As live streaming has become more ubiquitous, tech companies have followed suite in creating new ways to be able to stream. Not only have we found ways for drones to live stream, that foundation has also transformed into more companies entering the market as well.
For example, companies like Freecast are setting the bar regarding innovation within the live streaming industry. Freecast offers users the ability to stream straight from their camera onto any platform. This is not only the first instance of being able to broadcast HDMI-enabled footage but additionally being able to have multiple cameras and angles all on the same feed. While they’re still an early one to market, it’s showing that live streaming is here to stay, and with it will only come more and more changes in how we digest media.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.