If there was ever any doubt, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that 2016 is the year of the live-stream.
Facebook, who, let’s face it, was late to the live-streaming party, is now making it up. They’ve just announced that you will soon be able to do two-person live-streams. So, you’ll be able to do a live-stream of an interview, which is kinda cool–like having your own talk show. Similar to Blab, but with fewer people.
They are also going to allow people to schedule live-streams (also like Blab), but they’ll send out a notification a few minutes before you are scheduled to go live, and have a “waiting room” where your fans can gather. One of the big challenges of doing live-streams is that once you go live, you have to wait a while for people to get on the broadcast, and those first few minutes can be pretty boring. The idea with this new feature is to have a crowd already watching from the moment you go live.
Stealing a page from Snapchat, you’ll also be able to go live wearing a “mask” using the MSQRD app. While this might be fun for regular folks, it’s a little more challenging for businesses to incorporate masks into their live-streams. I’m not sure how I feel, for example, about taking financial advice from a guy that looks like a panda.
It’s not just Facebook–other networks are getting into the live-streaming game, too.
Tumblr, for example, is now giving its users the ability to do live streams. You download an app (depending on what kind of phone you have), and then connect that app to your Tumblr account. You can then live stream directly to your Tumblr.
YouTube has also joined the live-stream movement. You can see what kind of live streams are happening on their “Live” channel. Anyone with a verified YouTube account can do live streaming, and YT offers the ability to just go live in the moment, or to schedule live-streams. Here’s how to do it.
If you’re not yet in the live-streaming game, your excuses for not being there are getting smaller and smaller! With a bevy of choices: Periscope, Meercat, Blab, Facebook Live, and now Tumblr and YouTube, there are many platforms to choose from.
Periscope is now directly integrated into Twitter. You no longer need the Periscope app to do a live-broadcast; you can start a live broadcast from right inside your Twitter app.
I realize lots of people are still not comfortable in front of the camera. But I really feel like live video is a fantastic way to build your brand. People “out there” get to connect with a human being inside your business, and that’s invaluable.
Yesterday, I was at a potluck with my son, and my friends at the party were commenting on how much they loved “my TV show.” Obviously, I don’t have a TV show (YET!), but doing Facebook Livestreams has allowed me to connect with my audience in a fun and playful way that emphasizes my brand. I am currently working on a big project, and a part of it is going to include doing regular vlogs on FB live.
Video gives us this extra level of communication that can go much deeper, and live–in the moment–allows us a deeper connection with our audience.
Get out there, choose your tool, and give it a try.