It goes without saying that Facebook is a world leader in bringing people together online, with the first quarter of 2016 alone boasting 1.65 billion monthly users. The social network is forever coming up with new ideas to keep people both communicating and entertained, and its most recent endeavour is no different – enter, Facebook Live.


Unlike Twitter’s implementation of its own video format ‘Periscope’, Facebook Live will allow brands much more targeting power when it comes to reaching the communities they have already built up. With the majority of consumers preferring to use one app for everything, Facebook Live will provide users with the chance to stream content relevant to those who have already expressed an interest whilst also keeping it all in one place.


Facebook Live is a real time video streaming service. This means that celebrities, online entertainers and brands will be able to post a live feed onto their Facebook for all their followers to see. So what does this mean for businesses?


Many brands have already started utilising this technology. Grazia UK has already announced plans via Twitter to stream live onto Facebook and give its readers a chance to get involved with decisions that are usually made behind closed doors by the editorial team. Not only is this a chance for the brand to hear immediately what their readers think of its ideas live over the internet, it also brings the brand to life for its readers directly whilst also managing the data that comes back. This streaming service will also allow Grazia to have a much more personal interaction with its audience, who will also know they are being heard, and is likely to strengthen relations between the two further in return.


Other brands are already using Facebook Live to good effect too. SkySports has been conducting interviews throughout all types of sports and engaging with fans across the globe. This has given its audience a chance to see what their favourite stars are saying about sports which typically get more media coverage including football and rugby, but also lesser covered disciplines such as mountain biking. In using Facebook Live, SkySports has been able to interact with its viewers in a completely different way. Questions and comments can be sent to the presenter mid interview in order to steer the conversation in the direction the fans want, with the topics viewers care about most taken into account and answered almost instantly.
Facebook Live is set to prove itself as an incredible tool for brands to utilise when it comes to audience interaction. The waiting time between asking a question of your audience and getting an answer has been eradicated. Thanks to Facebook Live communication is now bi-directional and instantaneous between brand and consumer, and as a completely free service is clearly something that all brands should be taking advantage of at the earliest opportunity.