Livestreaming will take center stage in 2017 and every social media platform is racing to become the destination for live video. Of the livestream choices, two of the most buzzed about are Facebook Live, under Facebook, and the new Live.ly app, under Musical.ly. We compare the major features of these two developing livestreaming platforms and go over the opportunities for influencers and brands.
Facebook Live and Live.ly differ on a number of major features including video discovery, engagement options, and user/ video search ability.
Facebook Live: On mobile, Facebook Live is found within the Facebook app. Users will only need to have an updated version of the app in order to broadcast to their friends on the platform. Unlike Live.ly, Facebook Live can be accessed on a desktop.
Live.ly: Live.ly requires another app download, separate from Musical.ly. However, users are able to create a Live.ly account using Musical.ly. Users are also able to watch live video sessions and are notified of live sessions through Musical.ly, but are only able to create live content on the Live.ly app.
Facebook Live: Friends can be found by username or searched for by name.
Live.ly: Username is needed to add friend’s channels on feed.
Facebook Live: On mobile, Facebook Live videos can be found in a video section that will queue up livestreaming videos immediately. Suggested live video stream will appear as well (via search algorithm). Users can search for other live videos within the search bar, though searches will include videos that were once live, but are no longer live. On desktop, users can use the Facebook Live Map (pictured above) that shows popular livestreamed videos in real time.
Live.ly: Live videos by friends are categorized into the friends section and can be found on the homepage. Likewise, the most popular live sessions on the app are found in the Popular Live Channels section on the homepage:
Facebook Live: On mobile, the video display only takes up half of the screen and the live comments feed takes up the remainder of the screen.
Live.ly: The live session display on Live.ly fills the entire screen with a transparent live comment feed on the bottom corner.
Facebook Live: Within a live session, users can like and comment on live videos. Users can also share Facebook Live by inviting friends into the live session or by copying the link. Similar to Facebook, users can react to live videos in a range of emotions using six different emojis.
Live.ly: Users can like a live session by giving a content creator “emoji-loves.” A user’s profile will display the total number of emoji-loves ever received on the app. Live.ly has a live comments feed with an option to attach a gift icon to a content creator. If a comment is attached to an icon, the comment will be positioned in the center of the live session and will remain on the screen longer. Live.ly makes it easy to share on a variety of social platforms. Displays have an Instagram share button as well as more options to share on Facebook and Twitter. Even more, users can invite friends into a live session using text messages and Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Live: Other than live likes, comments, and sharing features, Facebook Live does not have any other engagement options built in.
Live.ly: The guesting feature allows for a livestreamer to guest a follower or another content creator into a live session. Live.ly also has a Top Contributors section (drr below) within a live session dedicated to the users who send the most gift points to the session. If a user is a Top Contributor, his or her name and profile will be displayed with a clickable link to his or her profile:
Facebook Live: Tagging on Facebook Live works in conjunction with the Facebook platform. Users can use hashtags to create their own tag, and users are also able to search for videos based on hashtags. Moreover, Facebook Live gives content creators more room to describe a live session.
Live.ly: Live.ly only allows users to categorize a live session with one tag and a short description. The tags are predetermined by Live.ly.
Facebook Live: Users are able to bookmark live videos or once live videos for viewing. Livestreamed videos are searchable on Facebook’s platform and notated as “was Live” (see above).
Live.ly: All live videos are ephemeral and disappear after a broadcast. Videos are not searchable once the broadcast ends.
Facebook Live: Facebook is able to monetize through Facebook Live through pre-roll and mid-roll ads on live video. The monetization structure is targeted towards brands and businesses.
Live.ly: Pay options with Live.ly include in-app purchase of coins by users. Coins can be used to buy virtual gift and send them to support content creators during broadcasts.
Related Post: What is Live.ly? Features, How It Works, & More
Both Facebook Live and Live.ly are building their platforms to make it easy for content creators to gain followers. For instance, Facebook Live has launched paid campaigns with influencers from other social media platforms to popularize Facebook Live (WSJ). On the other hand, Live.ly boasts a strong original content creator base and a platform intended for social networking. Both platforms have unique influencer development opportunities.
Facebook Live’s biggest advantage is Facebook’s established user base. Facebook’s 1.7 billion users makes Facebook Live an ideal platform for content creators to broadcast to the biggest audience online. Facebook Live is integrated seamlessly into Facebook’s platform. In fact, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm gives preferences to Live Video so that they will appear before normal videos or videos that are no longer live (AdWeek). Further, video search ability on Facebook is ideal for developing influencers as users can discover and share content even after a live broadcast is over.
On the other hand, Live.ly acts as an extension of Musical.ly, and is boosted by its recent and immesne popularity. With over 12 million new video uploaded everyday and 25% of users defined as content creators, Musical.ly’s reputation as a content creation platform has attracted millions of influencers and has led to a strong influencer social network. Moreover, Live.ly’s engagement features allows content creators to network and promote their profiles, whether through guesting or appearing as a top contributor through gifting coins.
Brand engagement opportunities differ vastly as well across Facebook and Live.ly. Over the past years, Facebook has been advancing the adoption of its social media tools for publishers and brands. Facebook Live serves as another format for brands to advertise to a large audience. Live.ly, in comparison, is a developing platform that does not have clear tools for brands to advertise with. Nonetheless, Live.ly’s features gives brands a means to market to new and emerging audiences in different ways.
Facebook Live, at first, seems to be a winner for brands looking to market on live video. With a large user base and strong video search ability, Facebook Live allows brands to promote videos in a variety of means. Even more, Facebook Live videos have descriptions that are searchable that can include the use of hashtags. This feature is particularly useful to brands looking to implement an influencer marketing campaign without violating FTC rules. So far, brands have been using a variety of means to denote a sponsored influencer video, including #sponsored, #advertisement, and more.
Even though Live.ly currently lacks a brand-friendly marketing mechanism, its reputation preceded by Musical.ly should be a compelling reason for brands to consider the platform. Regarded as Generation Z’s social media app, Musical.ly is poised to be a marketing machine (New York Times; TechCrunch). Live.ly, as an extension of Musical.ly, will be boosted by Musical.ly’s newfound success and growing popularity. Thus, Live.ly poses as the greatest platform for brands to marketing to new consumer potential. Live.ly’s engagement features also make it an ideal platform for brands to broadcast live video. For example, Live.ly’s videos, unlike Facebook’s, are ephemeral. Once a broadcast is over, the live video can no longer be accessed and will not be searchable. This feature instills a sense of urgency in users (similar to Snapchat) while ensuring user engagement for brands.