Facebook has started to roll out a new feature to its Live broadcasting functionality. In the coming weeks, verified pages will be able to schedule a live broadcast up to one week advance of the live broadcast time and date. A logical step maybe, but it is interesting to see that Facebook Live is moving closer and closer towards what has been a traditional activity associated with regular TV broadcasts.
General users will also gain access to this scheduling functionality in the coming weeks. This is likely to open up a wealth of digital marketing opportunities for brands, influencers, and businesses alike. Weekly broadcasts, regular live streams, and product launches can, and most likely will, be created to reach a captive Facebook audience. With over 1.5 Billion monthly active users, we can expect a much broader participation in Facebook Live broadcasts from a wider variety of online brands.
In terms of functionality, a brand will be able to schedule their live broadcast which will automatically create a post onto their Facebook feed announcing the upcoming broadcast. All users that see this post in their feeds will have the option to subscribe/opt-in to receive a notification shortly before the live broadcast is due to air.
Any viewers that join the live broadcast up to three minutes before the scheduled start time will be placed into a lobby where they can interact with other viewers. Broadcasters will be able to see the number of users in the lobby prior to the broadcast as well as seeing how many are actually watching in real time.
Mobile streaming is about to go mainstream, whether you were aware of it or not. The ‘always-on’ generation demands this level of interactivity and insight into their favourite brands/influencers so this new feature will allow these users to create extra demand and anticipation. Is Facebook trying to compete with traditional TV scheduling and YouTube content by giving its users something to look forward to with this scheduling feature? It will be interesting to see the contrast in viewer numbers once the scheduling feature fully rolls out.
Find out more on the Facebook Media blog post.