As you might have already noticed on your personal news feed, Facebook has introduced a new feature: “Facebook Live”. Users of the social media platform are now able to share live video content with their friends and followers. This new addition is in line with the growing popularity of video on the social media platform and society’s urge for real-time content.

Facebook Live offers you the opportunity to broadcast a live-stream on your timeline which is instantly visible for other users. People who watch the live session are able to post comments which will immediately pop-up on the screen in order to establish a two-way conversation. Facebook had started testing real-time video several months ago and was initially only available for celebrities and public persons. Since last month, the largest social media network stepped up their game and now provides this option to Facebook users in over 60 countries. Their goal is to eventually roll out worldwide for both iOs and Android users. The new feature will be supported by a dedicated platform in Facebook’s mobile application where users can actively browse live videos, so be prepared for a new outlay with even more focus on video content!

I hear what you’re thinking – author get your facts straight. This real-time video sharing is not such a new thing as other broadcasting apps already exist. Yes, you are right! Two of the biggest names in real-time video are Twitter-owned Periscope and Meerkat. Both applications were launched in 2015 and together have over 12 million active users. If we compare this number with Facebook’s 1.5 billion active users (that’s over 20% of total world population!), there is a clear difference in terms of reach and impact. So although real time video is not a completely new phenomenon, incorporating it into the established Facebook platform offers many interesting opportunities due to its wide reach alone.

Besides using real-time video for personal purposes (it doesn’t stop at just posting a perfectly styled picture of your mouthwatering food anymore, now your entire dinner experience can be broadcasted live for all to see), it offers great corporate opportunities as well. Over the past few years, Facebook has become an important tool for customer interaction to take place and the new live video option enables this interaction to the next level. Imagine the possible customer engagement effects of sharing real-time content with your followers. Sharing live events, on-the-spot influencer endorsements and broadcasting new product launches can have great impact as your followers can now be an active contributor of the video itself instead of sharing content afterwards. This increased involvement combined with the possibility for viewers to directly comment on the live-stream, makes it a very interesting tool for revised customer interaction.

So, it’s time to step up your social media game and explore Facebook Live. No worries, if you need someone to assist you in managing the versatility of corporate social media, come and say ‘Hi’!