UPDATE October 18, 2018 — Facebook Live is one of Facebook’s greatest frontiers, and as the platform grows, statistics on the feature change. Opening up the platform to new content opportunities, Facebook Live has already had some profound effects on the way users perceive and interact with video on Facebook.
Facebook Live gives publishers, media companies, celebrities, influencers, and brands a chance to share an entirely new type of content, focused on what’s happening in a single moment. Though it continues to evolve and develop, Facebook Live is already something of a juggernaut in the broadcasting space. We took a look at some key Facebook Live statistics to find out where Facebook Live came from, where it’s been, and where it might be going next.
See our list of the top Facebook Live stats marketers should know:
Facebook Live first launched in 2016 and has since doubled the number of broadcasts year-over-year. In that same time, the amount of daily average broadcasts from verified publisher Pages increased 1.5 times. Within the last two years, Facebook Live broadcasts have tallied 3.5 billion total and over 150 billion reactions to go along with them. At nearly 2 billion Facebook users who have watched Live videos, the feature shows signs of steady growth.
Facebook’s live video streaming platform originally debuted for use with top celebrities on August 5, 2015 before being available for everyone (April 6, 2016). According to Google Trends, search popularity for the “Facebook livestream” has risen over 330% from its inception to date with spikes in accordance to major events, publisher and influencer adoption, and New Year’s Eve (Facebook Live’s heaviest date of use so far).
Knowing that compelling content was going to be pivotal to Facebook Live’s success, Facebook made deals with major publishers and personalities in order to get them to use the platform. Buzzfeed, the New York Times, and CNN had the highest value contracts, with Facebook paying out $3.05 million, $3.03 million, and $2.5 million to each publisher respectively.
It wasn’t just publishers that were bringing money. Facebook also paid influencers a combined total of $2.2 million to use Facebook Live. With content coming from a variety of sources, from large media companies to independent influencers, Facebook Live is home to more diverse content.
In January 2016, just 11% of Facebook pages for media companies were home to Facebook Live videos. By May 2016, that number had grown to 44%. Over four months, that’s a 300% increase, which speaks to pretty outstanding growth in a short period of time for the platform.
Media companies are the clear power users of the Facebook Live platform. On average, media companies are stream 18 times more videos compared to brands and company pages.
Facebook made deals with top social influencers to create content for a set period on Facebook Live. The three most highly paid influencers on Facebook Live were Ray William Johnson at $224,000, Brent Rivera at $213,333, and Logan Paul at $210,667.
While Facebook paid influencers to post regularly with their livestreaming platform, for many influencers, live video growth has continued month upon month serving to illustrate the symbiotic nature of social media apps and networks today and their social media stars.
Influencer pages aren’t the only ones seeing big gains. In June, company Facebook pages streamed nearly 200 live videos, six times more than the number of videos posted from company pages in January.
Related Post: Are Top Influencers Abandoning Snapchat For Instagram?
In April 2015, Facebook Video had 4 billion views per day. By October 2018, that number has swelled to more than 8 billion daily views. Although growth has grown more or less stagnant, Facebook Video is on track to continue to up its daily video viewership.
Given the assumption of linear growth, if Facebook Video’s current daily views are around 32 billion per day, Facebook would be generating over 3,000 years’ worth of watch time every day if every view was only about 3 seconds. That’s a lot, but it’s nowhere near the kind of watch time YouTube logs. On February 27, 2017, YouTube announced that over one billion hours of content are viewed on YouTube every day (that’s 114,000+ years worth of video watched each day on YouTube).
Facebook Live is all about what’s happening in the moment. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that content that’s still live draws much more engagement than a video that’s no longer live. According to Facebook, users watch Facebook Live videos 3x longer than videos that aren’t live.
Facebook Live is a dream for engagement, driving interactions at over six times the rate of non-live videos. Again, because the focus of Facebook Live is a window into an interaction with a moment in time as it unfolds in real time, commenting is about being a part of a live conversation. It exists in a way that is more dynamic and prone to evolution than commenting spaces on regular videos, and that’s a powerful engagement tool.
Facebook Live videos make for some seriously viral content. Candace Payne’s viral Chewbacca Mom video is the most watched, followed by Ted Yoder’s Tears for Fears cover on a hammered dulcimer and Buzzfeed’s 2020 Election Countdown Clock.
Related post: Top 30 Viral Facebook Live Videos
The majority of the trial group for Facebook Live was made up of users who were high school or college-aged, and former Facebook employees told The Wall Street Journal that a large portion of those in the trial group were African-American teenagers. WSJ postulates that this is a good indication that Facebook seems to have wanted to woo young users back to the platform with Facebook Live, focusing particularly those users who were already jumping ship for the likes of Snapchat.
Facebook Live isn’t just Chewbacca Mom and live event broadcasts, though. There’s a considerable “dark side” to the live broadcasting platform. By WSJ’s count, at least 50 criminal or violent incidents have been broadcast over Facebook Live, including assault, murder, and suicide.
Recognizing this issue, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post on May 3, 2017, that Facebook is adding 3,000 people to the effort to monitor live content and to review reports. Specifically, Facebook is attempting to speed up and improve its process for removing content that includes things like hate speech. These individuals monitoring content will also be a part of the effort to coordinate with local law enforcement to send help to anyone who’s in danger of being hurt or hurting themselves.
In July 2018, Zuckerberg reported on graphic content in Facebook’s Q2 2018 Results Conference: “Almost 90% of graphic violence content that we removed or added a warning label to was identified using AI. This shift from reactive to proactive detection is a big change — and it will make Facebook safer for everyone.”
Facebook saw its biggest Live numbers on New Year’s Eve. More users went live on NYE than ever before in the history of the feature, which stands to reason given the attention focused on a single moment on a single night.
Facebook Live has been readily adopted on the platform. Since its launch in 2016, daily watch time for the broadcasting format grew by more than 4 times. The urgency behind a Live broadcast makes them especially impactful and compelling to users scrolling through their Facebook feeds for news and the latest happenings.
Facebook users aren’t just consuming Facebook Live content — they’re also creating it. Facebook reports that 1 in every 5 Facebook videos is a Live broadcast. While Facebook Live might have been used initially by influencers and professional social media content creators, it has taken off with average users who share thoughts and experiences with their friends. Facebook Live is also becoming for marketers, and many brands are seeing a positive effect on brand awareness and ad recall through Facebook Live integrations.