Interesting article by Josh Constine at Techcrunch on Facebook’s plan to revive Facebook Live:
A Facebook spokesperson for the project tells me “Facebook Live is something we’ll be utilizing more.” While more shoots haven’t been lined up, they should come at a brisker pace.
Why invest in original programming? “The purpose of Facebook Live is to give fans an opportunity to interact with public figures and give the public figures a global platform to present how they are using Facebook [or are engaged in conversations happening on Facebook] in an authentic way,” is the rather dry answer I got from the spokesperson.
But digging a bit deeper, Facebook Live accomplishes several strategic goals for the team at 1 Hacker Way. First, it can turn fans of the stars that Live brings on air into more frequent Facebook users. On the flip side, it can turn celebrities into more hard-core Facebook content creators. Facebook wants to be the place where people follow their favorite public figures, but it needs them posting frequently.
Most importantly, though, it demonstrates Facebook’s potential as a live events discussion platform. Becoming the second screen to important global events can generate tons of time-on-site and engagement. This has historically been Twitter’s domain thanks to its unfiltered, real-time feed, but Facebook wants a piece of the pie.
This cerainly looks to counter to Twitter’s growing popularity as a Second Screen social TV tool, and offers a slightly different, and compelling case by feeding up deeper fan engagement, a more controlled environment as well as the all important contextual information people seek from Second Screen… all wrapped into a neat little package.
Constine’s opinion that Facebook via Live, is looking to sway more celebs to post more real time on Facebook is an valid one. But if Facebook wants a slice of the action that Twitter is capturing they also need more calls to action on the big screen, as right now, it’s mainly Hashtags and Tweets that is being pushed from broadcasters and production crews.
I like his idea of turning Facebook Live as a Second Screen platform for more original programming for Facebook for important, live TV events and think it really has legs.
With Twitter acquiring Bluefin Labs for €60 million not long ago, Twitter’s being more than aggressive in aiming for market share in the emerging arena commonly called Social TV (though I prefer Orchestrated Media from the BBC).
It looks like Facebook is on the catchup when it comes to real-time, synchronous second screen TV engagement. It’s about time.