The latest move from Facebook has seen it adding a live video streaming feature to Mentions, allowing celebrities with verified accounts to broadcast to their fans.
Users are able to share, like and comment on videos but – in contrast to the ephemeral approach adopted by names like Periscope and Meerkat – anyone who misses the real-time broadcast can watch it at a later date by visiting the relevant celebrity’s page.
Following the lead of other services like Snapchat and Twitter, it’s not hard to see why Facebook has become the latest name to ramp up its video streaming credentials. Just look at Facebook’s crossover with the audiences on various video-centric services and it’s clear that this is a feature with strong appeal for Facebookers. It’s some 86% of Periscope users are members of Facebook, for example, as are 92% of Viners. But the figure creeps even higher among Meerkat users, an impressive 93% of whom have a Facebook account.
In light of these trends, Facebook will be feeling pretty confident that its new feature will find an enthusiastic audience and weaken one of the reasons its users have for embracing alternative platforms. The wealth of information it holds about users will also allow highly effective ad-targeting, an area where it is much better-placed than many of its video-streaming rivals.