In 2016, live video streaming has become one of the dominant trends and preferred social media format/content for platforms, content creators, and consumers. Global market research firm MarketsandMarkets projects that the entire live video streaming industry will be worth over $70B by 2021, a 130% percent change for 2016’s $30B. Periscope’s initial user growth and popularity (the now Twitter-owned livestreaming platform added more than 1 million users within its first 10 days) paved the way for both veteran social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Facebook-owned Instagram and upstart social media apps (e.g. Musical.ly’s standalone livestreaming app, Live.ly) to double-down on their live video streaming offerings.
Facebook for 2016 has chosen to focus heavily on “all things video” including the development of their video platform, livestreaming capabilities, and video messaging. Over the summer, Facebook spurred growth of their video properties by paying social media influencers, publishers, and celebrities over $50M to use and experiment with Facebook Video and Facebook Live.
As such, many of 2016’s biggest and memorable moments have been shared on Facebook Live. Here are the top 30, most viral Facebook Live videos—which ones have you seen and are your favorites?
Garnering over 164 million views, Candace Payne’s Chewbacca mask live video comes in at the most watched Facebook Live video of 2016. In the view, Candace plays with a Chewbacca mask toy, spreading her infectious laugh to everyone watching.
Ted Yoder plays Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on a hammered dulcimer. The live video brought in over 85 million views and shows off Ted’s musical talent.
BuzzFeed’s 2020 presidential election countdown clock, published election night, booked over 51 million views and nearly 800,000 shares.
Jennifer Brett published a live video of people lining up to hug police officers in Dallas in acts of appreciation after the Dallas police shooting tragedy. The video received over 38 million views.
NBC News raked in over 36 million views on their electoral map live updates during the 2016 election.
An all wood truck displayed at the Under the Hood Show was showcased on Live and received 26 million views. The astonishing craftsmanship certainly caught the eyes of car loves and “woodies” alike.
After the 2016 election, Viral Thread published a live population count showing Canada’s population and the US population, which may or may not be attributed to a Trump presidency. The live video received 25 million views.
CNN projected the election results on the Empire State Building, lighting up the Manhattan skyline with the race. The video garnered 24 million views.
Dena Blizzard posted a 23 million viewed live video of a funny mother, Dena, who riffs of the Pokemon Go trend. Her game, Chardonnay Go, tells mothers where to find glasses of Chardonnay, similar to how Pokemon Go tells users where to find virtual Pokemon.
Publisher Super Deluxe shows the election map in 2016 on fire, perhaps mirroring the overall sentiment of the election results and process.
Liz Kotalik of FOX 10 published a live video of the Desert Canyon Middle School Choir doing the Whip/Nae Nae in a revamped classical choir style. The video received 16 million views.
BuzzFeed employees find out how many rubber bands it takes to explode a watermelon. While it “only” took 690 rubber bands, the live video found 11 million views.
Hillary Clinton’s concession speech and message of unity after the 2016 election night saw 10 million Facebook Live views.
FOX News broadcasted and commented on the 2nd presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in St. Louis. Viewers were able to join in on the conversation by commenting.
Donald Trump’s Facebook page broadcasted the commentary after the last campaign in Las Vegas, seeing over 9 million views.
CNN broadcasted a man uses suction cups to scale the Trump Tower on Facebook Live, gathering over 8.1 million views.
The Cleveland Cavaliers broadcasted and shared their NBA Championship victory amassing 7.1 million views in their Facebook Live video.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO & founder of Facebook, hosts a space Q&A with astronauts at the International Space Station, bringing in over 7.1 million views.
BuzzFeed News livestreamed the news of the 7.3 magnitude Japanese earthquake and following tsunami warning, bringing in over 7.6 million views.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were brought together to announce for the 2017 World Tour. They performed together and found over 6.1 million views on Facebook Live.
Pretty Little Liars cast and creator announced that the TV drama Pretty Little Liars will be coming to an end in 2017. The video received over 5.9 million views.
ABC News broadcasted the election results on Facebook Live throughout the night in Times Square, generating over 5.9 million views.
Manny Pacquiao prepares for his coming fight with his staff. The Facebook Live video, viewed 5.8 million times, offered fans a glimpse of what happens backstage.
The NowThis staff commented on the streaming election updates and gained over 5.5 million views on their live video on Facebook.
Univision Noticias broadcasted the live tribute to those killed in a plane crash, which postponed the Copa Sudamericana Games. The Facebook Live video got over 5.3 million views.
John Legend promotes his new single “Love Me Now” live on his piano, and included a Q&A. The broadcast raked in over 4.7 million views to date.
Green Day promoted their upcoming new album Revolution Radio with short commentary and a quick studio tour. The video topped 4.7 million views.
Decorated Olympian Michael Phelps did a live Q&A with users on Facebook before his final race, the 400 Medley Relay, of the 2016 Rio Olympics. On this single livestream video, Phelps brought in over 4 million views on Facebook Live.
Lady Gaga and the Dalai Lama discuss together how to make the world a more compassionate place with kindness. The two superstars brought in over 3.9 million views.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert provided voters a frustration outlet in the form of a screaming booth. The booth was livestreamed on Facebook and got over 2.7 million views.