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2016 was characterized by several social media companies adding livestreaming capabilities to their existing assets. Facebook launched Facebook Live, Instagram introduced Instagram Live, and even Twitter added livestream skills from its Periscope asset. Enter live.ly.
Launched in May 2016, live.ly is a livestreaming social network branched off of the fast-growing musical.ly app, a video social network known for its lip-syncing capabilities, engaging community of users, and fast-rising content creators and social media influencers. live.ly is used for live broadcasts, and is already expected to disrupt the livestream race against top social platforms YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram (Variety).
Based on its parent musical.ly’s success, there is no doubt that live.ly is set to become a strong competitor. We go over what is live.ly, key features, how to use, why marketers should consider live.ly as a livestream advertising option, and why it will become the next big app on social.
Unlike all other top social platforms, live.ly is found on a separate app as an independent entity from musical.ly with reason. CEO Alex Zhu noted that the company saw that they way audiences were using musical.ly was changing in a way that was not anticipated. He noticed that the users on musical.ly were looking for ways to connect with each other, and that musical.ly did not have the capacity to allow users to do so. Thus, live.ly was born. Where musical.ly would be reserved for artistic expression, live.ly would be intended for “users to interact with others in real-time” and to allow the company to go beyond recorded content (TechCrunch).
Even though live.ly seems to be independent from the musical.ly app, live.ly is still able to draw on musical.ly’s incredible user base and virality. musical.ly boasts over 130 million registered users and 40 million monthly active users. Even more, musical.ly found that 25% of daily active users were content creators, and that more than 12 million new videos were uploaded daily (TechCrunch).
Not only do musical.ly’s wide user base and strong engagement hint strongly at live.ly’s future success, musical.ly’s reputation as “Generation Z’s social app” is expected to rub off onto Live.ly as well (New York Times). musical.ly’s platform is set up so that the app and the users on the app area culturally relevant. It’s heavy involvement in the music and entertainment industries makes the app a fertile ground for social influencers to grow. As social influencers grow within musical.ly, “Musers” will begin to use live.ly, a platform that allows Musers or other social influencers to become accessible to all their followers. Naturally, live.ly is extremely dependent on the existence and content of its social influencers, a theme that is echoed throughout all livestream platforms.
Related Post: The 10 Top Musical.ly Statistics Driving The Mobile App
live.ly has several key features that distinguish it from other livestreaming platforms:
Upon entering the app, users are exposed to a list of their friends’ channels, a leaderboard of top content creators, and a list of the most popular live channels. Users will be able to scan through and discover channels based on how many people are watching a video, and by tags and a short description. Above is the live.ly homepage depicting the leaderboard and popular live channels.
When a user enters a channel, the display switches to the content creator and a running list of live comments and live “emoji-loves.” Users can Instagram moments during a live session and share with their friends. Further, users can gift icons purchased with coins.
Icons are attached to comments to allow a live comment to appear on the screen for a longer period of time above the comment feed. Icons that are more expensive will remain on the screen longer. WhatTrending’s live session is pictured above with a live comment feed and emoji-loves on the side.
Each live session has a list of top contributors that send the session the most gift points. The top contributor leaderboard displays a profile picture and a clickable option to explore a leader’s profile. Sessions can also integrate live guests, and users can tap on the guest’s live session to access the profile of and follow the guest.
Finally, live sessions are ephemeral, so when a content creator ends a live session, the live session can no longer be accessed or found (in contrast, Facebook’s livestreaming platform makes live video content accessible as normal videos after the livestream has concluded). Above, rennon_royer has guested a follower in to increase engagement during his live session.
live.ly’s features allow for influencers and content creators to build a prominent profile, interact with audiences on an intimate level, and grow their reach.
Related Post: What Is musical.ly? A Quick Resource Guide For Marketers
live.ly’s platform builds on livestreaming’s popularity and a general demand for more access to online celebrities. As live.ly is popularized, brands seeking new advertising opportunities should look to the digital stars occupying live.ly to gain access to new and varied audiences. The real-time format of the app will help brands gain trust with their followers very quickly and brands should capitalize on the authentic nature of livestreaming to show value.
The right influencer or content creator can contribute to strengthening the consumer-business relationship. For instance, influencers can capture and share content in their own style to make a product demonstration seem less like an advertisement. As users migrate between musical.ly and live.ly for both entertainment and a social network community, brands should look to live.ly as a possible influencer marketing channel.