We're live with Facebook live - 6 ways you could use it for your business.

2016 will forever be marked as the year live streaming really took off.

Just over a year ago, in March 2015, a little live streaming app called Meerkat quickly became the darling of SXSW festival and all of a sudden live streaming was touted as the next big thing. With Meerkat, you could live stream from your phone to anywhere in the world and share your live stream with your networks on both Facebook and Twitter. Their numbers skyrocketed. So did their hopes. For about a month....

Then Twitter rained on their parade by launching their own, recently acquired live streaming app called Periscope and promptly shut off Meerkat’s access to Twitter.  Both apps continued to grow and by Periscope had reached 10million users by late 2015.

Then along came Facebook Live. An in-app, live-streaming experience which has launched to each and every one of their 1.6 billion users.   It’s a move which has caused Meerkat to change course entirely (https://medium.com/@Meerkat/a-new-breed-of-kat-fbc7e3236514#.udzl9mh4k) and has Periscope quaking in it’s boots.

FB Live has several advantages aside from it’s massive scale.

1)   It’s built in to the FB app – Periscope and Meerkat are standalone and require downloading.

2)   Everyone has access, whether you’re a brand or a celebrity or my Mum. This will lead to rapid adoption as people see others adopting live streaming.

3)   Social sharing– another major driving of adoption will be people liking, commenting and sharing live streams with their friend network. I, for one, have discovered a number of livestreams in my newsfeed this way.

4)   Autocapture – your livestream is automatically captured and posted on your wall which you can then boost to a wider audience with advertising later.

Whoever wins the live stream battle, it has some interesting applications for businesses.

Here are a few FB Lives i've come across recently that have been used for different purposes.

1) Broods - The Announcement

Broods not only announced their new album on FB Live, they previewed some of the new tracks, announced a new tour with dates and then took questions from their fans!  What they did very well was let people know well in advance that they had a special announcement and reminded them on all social channels.

2.  Hunt for the Wilderpeople - Promotion

While promoting the launch of Wilderpeople in Australia, Taika and Julian did a live and very entertaining Q&A with fans which included explanations of some kiwi slang and doing the running man. They also let people know about the Q&A in advance through all of their social channels like Twitter.

3). TED - Expert Q&A.

TED recently did an interview/ Q&A with Ted Talker and dinosaur discoverer where people anywhere could ask the most pressing questions about dinosaurs from their 7 year old children. So if you are in possession of an expert or celebrity, boost your cred by hosting a Q&A.

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4. Sue Bryce - Demonstration + Competition Announcement.

Sue added great value to her follower base by giving them some tips on how to create a great lighting set-up and then followed it up with an announcement of how they could win a great prize including a day in the studio with her.

5. Spark Lab - Live streaming an expert panel.

Spark gave people who couldn't attend their Spark Lab in Auckland an opportunity to watch their experts talk live, bringing in a wider audience.

6). Chris Cox Facebook - Live product launch/demo

Attendance at Facebook's F8 developers conference is restricted to developers and media only. So they live-streamed every keynote speech which allowed me to watch them from the comfort of my bed! Below is Chris Cox announcing and demonstrating Facebook Live's API, which goes beyond mobile and will allow content producers to live-switch between cameras or get the camera to follow you around.

And who can forget this one. Candace Payne did the best belly laugh I've heard in ages and smashed all Facebook Live records.

So there you go.  A few examples of note from around the web with varied applications.

If you've seen some impressive livestreaming then be sure to let us at The Classroom know.