by Karen Fratti
Facebook recently launched Facebook Live, their alternative for live streaming directly to your timeline.
But is it better than Periscope or Meerkat?
While every social network wants to be the best, just like everything else, it depends on how you want to use it. Facebook rolled out their live streaming feature to celebs first this summer, but now that it’s available to everyone in the United States, it’s a serious competitor to Periscope and Meerkat.
You can just tap “Go Live” from the redesigned status update screen (it’s the outline of a human with radio waves all around it) and do your thing. Once you’re done broadcasting, the video is immediately saved to your feed by default, though you can delete it. While you’re recording, you can see the number of viewers, their names, and their comments.
In many ways, it is just like Periscope and Meerkat, both of which recently added options to save your broadcasts due to popular demand.. Right now, the only differentiating feature is that Facebook Live is only available on iOS, while its competitors are also available in Google Play.
So why Facebook Live? There are a few ways to look at it: if you have a strong following on Facebook, you should start using the feature. Of course, you need to decide what to broadcast and when, depending on your niche and follower base.
The downside? Unlike Meerkat or Periscope, where users are browsing streams anyway, or you can tweet your stream in real time, the Facebook Live feature follows the picky terms of Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm. Simply put: if you don’t tease it or have something really cool to show, your followers could miss it amidst photos of their high school friends and other random posts.
Also, since the videos are available all the time and subject to Facebook comments, user feedback can get very jumbled, very quickly.
It’s worth a shot, especially since Facebook is still the best way to direct followers to your content, no matter how you break it down. Just remember: make it interesting. Only people like Ricky Gervais can get away with livestreaming their bath.
Image credit: Christian Holmér