All of your Facebook Live Video Questions Answered

Published on Mar 3rd, 2017

We hosted our first live stream last Friday about the importance of Facebook Live. If you haven’t seen it, check it out . Or read the blog post we put together to recap our broadcast.

During the broadcast, we answered a variety of questions from viewers about Facebook Live, live broadcasting in general and some of the trends we’ve seen. We wanted to compile all of those answers in one place for your reference.
Q: Has Facebook Live rolled out to all brands yet?

A: Yes. Facebook Live was introduced to a handful of celebrities last year. But Facebook made it available on iOS in January and Android in February. Facebook announced its live API for verified pages, making live video possible on devices other than smartphones at F8, it’s annual developer conference in April.

Patrón is experimenting with live video in its Cocktail Lab, providing viewers with recipes for its cocktails. You can learn how to make a banana split cocktail or perfect margarita . Patrón’s executive mixologist answered tequila FAQs .

Q: What equipment do you use for the video and sound capture to do the broadcast?

A: We used an iPhone attached to a tripod with an adapter. It was equipped with an external mic that plugged into the headphone jack but a lavalier, or lapel, mic might work even better. We actually started with a Samsung S6 phone, but found that the video wouldn’t rotate when mounted horizontally.

Q: Would love some more insight on analytics, reporting, etc. that are available.

A: The longer the video, the more exposure you get. Facebook recommends going live for at least 10 minutes to give people a chance to find your broadcast.

Bleacher Report got a 12x boost in comments from a live video previewing the NFL Draft earlier this month. And UFC has used live video to encourage fans to connect with athletes . Those live videos generated an average of 325% more engagement than recorded videos and 74% of those actions came from comments. Comments on recorded video accounted for just 6% of all actions during the same time period.

Q: Are the live videos recorded for posting afterwards?

A: When a live video broadcast is complete, it remains in your feed where it will continue to generate engagement and views. Since our live stream ended, we generated an additional 25% actions (likes, comments and shares) and more than 310% more views.

Q: How do the alerts work for page followers?

A: Fans and subscribers will get notifications of a live broadcast. Facebook also recently announced that trending topics will include a “LIVE” icon viewable by clicking in the Search bar. In addition, a live video tab will replace the existing Messenger tab in the Facebook mobile app, but that hasn’t been universally rolled out. Until then, Facebook’s live map allows you to see where live broadcasts are taking place in more than 60 countries across the world.

Q: I’ve heard people getting notifications in Facebook when someone goes live even if the person hasn’t subscribed to LIVE subscribe. Has anyone else heard or seen that?

A: If you’re following the person or page going live, you will get a notification that they are live.

Q: Has anyone had luck connecting to Facebook with a video encoder (Game Capture, OBS) using a stream key and FMS URL?

A: We used OBS ( Open Broadcaster Software ) but are still experimenting with Livestream and others.

Q: In what ways can advertisers sponsor or be integrated into Facebook Live?

A: Not yet. But Facebook is reportedly going to experiment with in-video advertising , but it’s unclear whether that will be mid roll or some type of display ad.

We’ve already seen examples of brands using influencers, like BMX rider Pat Casey , who is sponsored by Monster Energy, taking trick requests. That post, by the way, is Monster Energy’s most commented of the year, generating 4x more comments than the next post. As for influencers posting branded content from their own pages, we haven’t seen any examples of that yet.

Q: What do you think the potential is or best strategy for migrating viewers from the Live video to content off Facebook (to network website, etc.) after the Live video has ended.

A: Good social content generates more engagement, which leads to more referral traffic . We think Facebook Live video has the same potential. If your video leaves your viewers wanting more, they’ll seek out additional content.

Q: Do you know how Facebook is treating this within their algorithm?

A: Here’s a quote directly from Facebook :

“Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live Videos as a new content type—different from normal videos—and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed. As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.”

Q: Recommended length of time LIVE?

A: It’s too early to say for sure. Monitor your broadcasts to see how long it takes people to join, when others drop off. Try preparing some backup material to continue broadcasting.

But we do know that the longer you broadcast, the longer your video will stay atop the News Feeds of your fans. As we mentioned earlier, Facebook recommends broadcasting for at least 10 minutes. Facebook Live broadcasts can now last as long as 90 minutes.

Q: Do you recommend setting up an official event (via Facebook events) to help promote/drive tune in?

A: We set up a Facebook event to help promote our broadcast and we sent an email to the people who normally receive our newsletter. Another great way to drive tune-in (and practice streaming live) is to tease your broadcast with short live video tests. They’ll allow you to work out some of the kinks while promoting the broadcast.

Freeform’s ShadowHunters promoted live chat with cast members minutes before they aired it.

Q: Would you say this is a better option than Periscope?

A: That depends on your audience. We’re still evaluating the differences between Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, but if you find that your audience is more engaged on Twitter, that might be a better solution for you.

Q: Do you see this going beyond live handheld recorders to actual television premiers?

A: “I hope so. I really hope so. Really, it’s about taking care of your viewers and your audiences and finding them where they are. And I know there’s a lot of questions about that on the business front, but why wouldn’t you? If people all around America or all around the world are crying out for this content, I absolutely see big premieres happening in this way. I think it would be an incredibly exciting thing. If you’re getting this real time feedback with a live audience, that’s a great opportunity.” – Tania Yuki, Shareablee’s founder and CEO

Q: Should you have someone monitoring and editing/curating the question feed?

A: We did and would recommend it. Having someone not on the broadcast review questions and write them on pieces of paper that we could display as we answered them was helpful for us and we think for the audience.

Q: How do you see local TV broadcast stations using this to build tension in a video?

A: Game of Thrones also posted an hour-long live video from the red carpet before the season 6 premiere that featured interviews with the stars. The cast of Scandal also hosted a short Q&A in February before season 5 debuted. These are especially great examples because these videos allowed cast members to discuss plot elements of the upcoming seasons to get fans excited.

Q: What is the biggest session that you’ve seen to date?

A: Vin Diesel, the most-engaged celebrity on Facebook, posted the live video that generated the most engagement singing with his son. Diesel actually posted the five most-engaged live videos. Videos from tennis star Novak Djokovic and Enrique Iglesias were also among the most-engaged. The most-engaged non-celebrity video was BuzzFeed’s watermelon explosion, which was viewed more often than the live content posted by celebrities.

Q: Could Facebook Live come in from multiple cameras? i.e.: People on multiple time zones having an interview?

A: Yes, but it requires the live API to do screen shares and incorporate different cameras into a single broadcast.

Q: Do you think Facebook will be offering options on customizing the notifications for live streams, who gets them who doesn’t, etc.?

A: Facebook Live does allow you to broadcast to specific groups , but Tania has a suggestion to new producers of live video.

“For right now, it’s all about amassing as broad an audience as possible. This is a really new format and knowing exactly what audiences are really going to resonate with, it’s probably a little early to be limiting who you want to reach. I would suggest going as broad as you can to begin with. But I think as that gets clearer and clearer, I think people will be enabling the ability to target and be a little more focused in terms of who you reach out to.”

Q: Is Shareablee measuring live Facebook data?

A: We have samples of data across our client set today, and are looking at more macro ways of measuring our entire set of industries. More info to come.

Q: Can you also embed Facebook Live video on your .com and if so, how?

A: Yes, and it’s pretty easy. Just use Facebook’s embed code , as you would if you were embedding a recorded video.

A viewer also noted that you can use a third-party solution—Facebook has recommendations —to tag live videos on your website that Facebook will recognize and pick up the feed to broadcast in the platform.

Q: What are you integrating the API to if you’re using a software such as OBS to screen grab video from your desktop?

A: “If you’re doing something as simple as just using OBS, you don’t actually need to use the API if you have a verified page. You can go into Facebook, you can go into your publishing tools and you can click to start a live stream. And then use OBS to grab those URLs and pull it in and start streaming directly.” – Dave Bachowski, Shareablee’s CTO

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