Konrad Dobschuetz
Konrad Dobschuetz 24 May 2016

6 Reasons Why Facebook Live Is Not Doing the Trick

Why Facebook Live is struggling to lift off and even needs to pay for publishers to use it. Plus an easy alternative on how to get your live content working for you.

Yes, yes. Content is everything. The stronger the better, the more emotional, the more reactions. We know this since newspapers came to life centuries ago and through the evolution of the internet anyway. 

In the world of Digital and Social Media Outreach ‘video’ and ‘content now’ are big buzz words at the moment. The right video strategy can improve your engagement and reach for sure. So a big fat Yes, video content is important and it needs to be available at a click of a button. And it is. Now, Facebook would like to make us believe that we need even more than that  - we need live video content served to us based on our preferences and the things we like, on our newsfeed. For a start, just over 2,500 business (globally!) are currently using the API functionality, some of the larger publishers like NPR even get paid by Facebook to push the service.The blue giant wants to jump on the bandwagon and offer its advertisers one more access point to you. We get it. Well Facebook, I think you got this all wrong. And here is why…

1. A bird, where?! A study compiled by tech giant Microsoft has determined that  our attention span has decreased to 8 seconds on average in the last 15 years. That is now officially less than Yogi the goldfish has! By virtue of a live coverage it just cannot offer something bird like every 4 seconds to keep us entertained.


2. Next. Next. Next. Our behaviour to scroll down a timeline or a website on a smartphone screen is an issue. In general we want to to see what’s on and who said what about whom. Funny cat  video  - this way! Facebook actually enhanced this kind of content consumption by the introduction of the timeline years ago. Try to unlearn that one. 


3. Very importantly - I did not ask for this. Yes, we are used to ads and branded content being served and we have lived with it, sort of. They come and go. But taking the time to actually relate to a live coverage of something that I am not geared up to to watch and haven’t asked for, no way! I find this intrusive even. It is something else if you WANT to see something live and you go to a page/channel to do so. 

4. I. Can’t. Watch. This! Old problem, still there. Network converge - say no more. Plus connectivity is still an issue in many regions around the globe as well as the availability of data volume. 

5. Please move along - nothing to see here.  Let’s face it people, we are herd Screen-Shot-2016-05-23-at-16-37-36.pnganimals - why would we join something that only 50 other people watch? Facebook Live provides the stats along with the video, probably thinking it would cause the exact opposite of what is actually happening, people would join in. We want to be part of a big group and not of a minority. Also, if only a few people are interested in it, it cannot be that good, can it? 

6. Please leave me alone! All video content so far is branded or from publishers. So far there is no value for anyone to watch it as they don't want to become unwillingly another supporter of a brand or publisher. I am thinking of the dire NPR broadcasts recently. *shudder*. Sorry NPR, I still love you. 

In conclusion, Facebook Live is a nice to have and something for brands to try ou. However, the advise would be to invest in a proper teaser video strategy combined with a clever media buying approach and link off to a destination. That would get people engaged with live content they actually have asked for (on a very well established streaming platform called YouTube for example) and keep them there. If in addition you get your brand ambassadors on board to join you in the noble quest for reach and engagement you are already almost there. Considering all of the above points made, ask yourself WHY would somebody watch something for one(!) hour, unprompted and interrupting their day to day life which also offers very little value whatsoever. They wouldn’t, simple. 

Lastly and since I don't want to leave you hanging, here's is also some good advice around how to use Facebook Live and make it work for you - if you chose to pick it that is. 


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