At the F8 Facebook Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, the world-conquering social network announced a potentially game-changing live video hub.
Facebook launched live video streaming late last year, in direct competition with Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter's Periscope. The new live video hub will give streaming a permanent home on every Facebook user's feed, offering brands, publishers and celebrities reach that often exceeds that of traditional TV, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Brands have been slow to start using Facebook's live video feature, but the launch of the hub should change that, as marketers now have the opportunity to create quick, low-budget streaming experiments with the potential to reach a mass global audience.
Jill Sherman, senior vice-president of social strategy at global marketing agency DigitasLBi, told UK advertising blog Digiday: "This is a product that has full-scale reach. And the beauty of the medium is that it doesn't need to be perfect — and audiences don't expect it to be perfect either. Brands can and will capitalise on the cultural zeitgeist and trending moments." This chimes with trends of imperfection and vulnerability we explore in Get Real.
The first few brands to experiment with Facebook live video include UK retailer Matches Fashion and Dunkin' Donuts. Starting today, Matches Fashion will be live streaming a three-day residency at New York's WOM Townhouse. On Valentine's Day, Dunkin' Donuts streamed a behind-the-scenes tour of its test kitchen, the Dunkin' Brands University, in Canton, Massachusetts. The stream achieved more than 30,000 views.