When Facebook purchased Livestream back in August, people (including myself) began trumpeting the occasion as Facebook regaining its foothold in popular culture and crushing Periscope and potentially Twitter. Of course, we were wrong. Dead wrong. Twitter, while still not growing in user base or profits, it’s still seen as the go-to for following and interacting with the world’s biggest influencers. And while anyone could livestream from Facebook’s third-party app, embedding video on your timeline required a premium membership with Livestream. Combine that with the fact that Livestream’s interface was not nearly as user-friendly as Periscope, and you get a big ole’ flop on your hands.
But Facebook aims to do things differently this time. Instead of letting a third party app help them play catch up to Periscope and Snapchat, Facebook is now offering the feature as if it were any other post. All you have to do go into Facebook from a mobile iOS device, click the post icon, and you will be given an option to post live:
Once you choose Live, you will be asked to write a short description of what’s going on in the livestream, and then you will be live:
When you’re finished with your livestream, your video will post automatically to your timeline.
Is this feature going to kill Periscope? I don’t know. In theory, it should, due to Facebook’s sheer bulk in user base. But Periscope took hold of the livestream market early, and is already an established brand. Also, Facebook Live is not available to all Facebook users. In order to use Facebook Live, you need to have the iPhone 6s or the iPhone 6s Plus, so this puts a limit on Live’s audience. It’s too early to tell if Facebook Live will truly be an app-killer or just another skirmish in the war for social media supremacy, and the biggest factor seems to be celebrities. If Facebook Live leads to a more rewarding experience for the followers of big-time influencers, that could be the final nail in the coffin for Twitter.