Livestreaming is on the rise and major social media platforms YouTube and Facebook are having a showdown to secure the spot as the dominant player. Last year, Facebook’s introduction of Facebook Live and its push to advertise the platform with influencers and media channels has bolstered its livestreaming capacity and popularity with users immensely. Conversely, YouTube Live, launched in 2011, is a seasoned video sharing veteran, looking to modify is live feature for a modern audience.
Currently, both platforms are battling it out, adding new features to attract users to watch and content creators to publish livestreaming broadcasts. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
While YouTube and Facebook are the biggest social platforms available on the internet, each boasting over 1 billion users, both are used for unique purposes by its users. YouTube originated as platform used by individuals to share, watch, and discover original video, while providing a forum for people to connect publicly. As an extension, YouTube also became a video content distribution platform that allowed original content creators to develop into social media influencers.
Facebook, on the other hand, is used mainly leveraged by users as a social networking platform, where users would be able to share thoughts and content with friends. However, with recent growth and new video and livestreaming features, Facebook has become a publishing destination for online social media influencers as well.
The livestreaming craze feeds into the advantages of both platforms: video sharing and social networking. Livestreamers are looking for the opportunity to instantaneously share moments and thoughts to their online peers. So, even though YouTube may have the advantage in livestreaming as the predominant video publishing platform, Facebook’s social networking features may be enough to overcome that precedence.
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Having paid over $2 billion to rightsholders who have chosen to monetize their content and with over 50 million active reference files in their Content ID database, YouTube is undeniably the home of the internet’s brightest stars and content influencers. These influencers will be crucial to the development of livestreaming as a format and both YouTube and Facebook are relying on them to boost appeal and relevance of their respective live features.
Last year, Facebook had offered contracts totaling $50 million to content creators and media companies to create video on Facebook Live. Moreover, its addition of verified Pages and profiles has allowed influencers to gain prominence as a public figure or brand. Likewise, YouTube is revamping YouTube Live to make it user and business friendly to social influencers.
YouTube Live’s recent addition of Community and YouTube Super Chat will not only be compensated directly by their audiences, but will also give influencers a higher capacity to engage with his or her fans in real time. Even more, YouTube Live’s recent introduction of mobile livestreaming serves to compete with Facebook Live’s on-the-go streaming capability.
YouTube and Facebook’s investment in livestreaming influencers has significant implications for influencer marketing. With more influencers working the livestreaming content, brands will need to begin to consider sponsoring influencers in a livestreaming format. Because livestreaming has little room for mistake, future influencer brand campaigns might even include greater involvement in developing content with a partnering social media influencer.
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YouTube Live and Facebook Live have all the common features available in livestreaming. Some include the ability to broadcast on desktop and mobile, a live comments chat box, strong sharing opportunities, and a system where live broadcasts can be archived and found by users later.
Both differ on their influencer compensation system and their advertising opportunities. Influencers on YouTube Live will likely be compensated directly through fans and sponsors, perhaps gaining a cut of a pre-roll ad or in-video ad. Influencers on Facebook Live will find compensation through a split on ad revenue and paid contracts, as well as partnerships with third-party brands.
Even though YouTube Live and Facebook Live will likely emerge as the leaders of livestreaming, both face heavy competition from other social media apps, such as live.ly, Live.me, and Instagram Live, each with their own advantages and appeal to young audiences. Suffice to say that livestreaming is still a developing media form and both YouTube and Facebook will be adapting accordingly.