The world of Facebook Live has been taken over by a host of fashions publications. Since it’s launch in 2015 (and to the masses in April 2016), Facebook Live has been a little slower to take off than its counterparts like Periscope, but recently the publications have found the key to eye-catching and engaging content.
Most editors and writers attend exclusive events and interviews that we can look back on in polished photos and videos and only dream of. If only you could be front row at fashion week, and if only you could ask Tom Hiddleston what his favourite beverage is. Well, brands such as Empire, Variety, Elle and Vogue are giving you the chance, virtually speaking that is.
Using live video gives fans a chance to see first looks of catwalk collections as they happen before the filmmakers eyes, attend exclusive red carpet events that we usually only see edited footage of and, the most popular option, the chance to interview your heroes and idols in live Q&A sessions.
Variety recently sat down with Tom Hiddleston for the sole purpose of a Q&A. The questions ranged from asking how Tom prepares for roles to his favourite beverage (Jameson on the rocks, by the way). Fans went mad for the Q&A with the ‘Hiddlestoners’ generating 1.3K comments and 2.1K likes in just over 48 minutes. It gave them a chance to feel close to their idol, to potentially have their own question answered by him, for him to notice them.
Elle uses their live video strategy to show off sneak-peaks of yet-to-be-released collections, exclusive runway shows and candid chats with models. The footage seems to strip back the high fashion industry, making a once exclusive industry readily available to the masses, fancy invitation or not. And not everyone is a fan of fashion’s evolution on social media. The Creative Director of Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, said: “Fashion has become very noisy. It used to be a world of allure, refinement and scarcity. Now you see images everywhere, there’s fashion spam everywhere. And what this has done is turned brands like Ralph Lauren and Burberry into QVC. It’s totally democratised.” But I believe high fashion brands are hitting the nail on the head with live video. After all, they exist to serve consumers who are ‘clamouring for more immediate access to new lines’, as noted by Grazia editor, Natasha Pearlman.
The world of Facebook Live seems to normalise the prestigious world of fashion and celebrity from the screens of our desktop or mobile, and it’s a brilliant way for fans to feel connected to a high fashion brand or Oscar-winning actor. One thing that makes these videos so accessible is that they are by no means perfect. They tend to be awkward, clunky and mostly shot on a smartphone. Brands like Vogue are willing to let their brand image of perfection slip to showcase the backstage areas of fashion shows, and actors are similarly prepared to begin an interview unprepared and facing real-time questions from genuine fans. There is something to be admired about that braveness.
What do you think of the way publications are using Facebook Live video? Comment below or let us know on Twitter.