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Video has shown itself to be the king of content, and the next step in its evolution is here: Live Video Streaming. For nearly a year, live video streaming has become more and more mainstream. Just recently, Facebook made their live video streaming feature available to all users – solidifying that live video owns a place in our content worlds.

The immediacy of live video appeals to people because it puts them in the moment. For the same reason that Snapchat has seen success, live video will see success. It is a snapshot into what is happening right at that moment.

Last summer, a handful of mobile apps (such as Meerkat and Live Stream) emerged to facilitate live video broadcasting, but out of those, two have come out as the front runners – Periscope and Facebook Live. We could look into all the live video streaming apps, but because of the ease of use and availability of Periscope and Facebook Live, we’ve decided to compare and contrast these two specifically.


Periscope is a live video streaming app owned by Twitter that allows users to broadcast their own live videos or view other users’ live videos.

  • Videos are accessible for 24 hours after the broadcast ends.
  • Viewers can comment/ask questions during live broadcast.
  • Live video can be simulcast on Twitter account.
  • Viewers can express when they like parts of the broadcast by giving hearts (tapping on their screen during the broadcast).
  • Periscope users can subscribe for notifications when pages they follow go live, or they can browse through public live videos through an interactive map.

(Periscope map and screenshot of live stream.)

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a new feature that is part of the existing network. Users can broadcast live from their profiles with a process similar to sharing an update.

  • Videos are saved in the user’s video album and accessible to view after the broadcast ends. Live videos remain published unless deleted by the user.
  • Viewers can comment/ask questions during live broadcast.
  • Viewers can express when they like parts of the broadcast by liking the video during the broadcast).
  • Facebook users can subscribe for notifications when pages they follow go live, or they can browse through public live videos through an interactive map (on desktop only).

(Facebook Live map above, and screenshot of live stream below.)

The biggest two differences between Facebook Live and Periscope is that videos on Facebook remain available for people to view after 24 hours, while videos on Periscope expire after 24 hours, AND that Facebook Live is available to viewers on desktops, while Periscope is mobile only. Between Periscope (and its simulcast on Twitter) and Facebook Live, you can reach just about any one in your audience. If you have more than one mobile device at your disposal, there’s no reason to choose between the two options.


Live video could really be used for anything. It’s all up to your imagination, but as marketers and communicators we know that our content should be relevant and engaging for our intended audiences. Here are just a few ways brands are using live video:

  • Announcements: Traditionally, when a company or organization has big news they send out a news release, product release and might even hold a press conference. With live video, you can build on to that foundation by expanding your audience with a live video broadcast.
  • Speaking engagements: Has someone in your company been asked to give a keynote at an event that many of your audience won’t be able to make? Problem solved. Broadcast the keynote with live video and you can engage people who can’t make the event in-person. We saw this with Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at the F8 conference.
  • Interactive Townhalls: We’ve seen this tactic with several political candidates, especially those running for the presidential nominees. With the commenting features included with the live video apps, viewers can ask questions in real time and have the candidate speak directly to them. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul notably used this tactic when he was excluded from a nationally-televised Republican Presidential Debate. He has since used live video streaming up and down his campaign trail – previously for his presidential campaign and now for his senatorial campaign.
  • Tours/Behind the Scenes: Great for opening up a location to people who normally would never be able to see behind the scenes of your company.
  • Events and Entertainment: Good or bad – people are using live video apps to broadcast concerts and other entertainment events to the world. Can’t make it to Coachella? Check your live video apps for a stream of your favorite artist. Companies can use it to expand the experience of their audience members.


The obvious measure of success for using live video is to expand your reach and get more viewers. But beyond that you can measure success by measuring the amount of engagement of those audience members and the qualitative feedback that you receive.

One of the great things about live video is that viewers are more forgiving on the quality of video production. All of us want our videos to be polished, but without retakes, mistakes are bound to happen. People enjoy live video because it comes off as authentic, honest and in the moment. However, make sure your audience can see and hear you clearly. Otherwise you risk losing them.

The last thing to do is dive in and have fun!

InQuest Marketing

Author InQuest Marketing

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