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Coming to you live in 3, 2, 1…

In case you haven’t noticed, live streaming through social media has become a part of culture, and it is blowing up the scene. As video content continues to gain traction in social media, live streaming is at the forefront, offering individuals and brands a direct way to engage with followers in real time.

What is live streaming?

Simply defined, live streaming is real-time video that is broadcasted through a social media network or an online platform where it can be viewed by people.

Live streaming creates active engagement with audiences because its real-time experience adds a human touch to posts that text and images can’t compete with. Live streaming has become an effective way for brands to engage with their audiences having emerged in 2016, and it continues to be a viable marketing strategy today. Facebook Live leads the way as a ‘go-to’ for big brands to unveil new products, conduct live Q&A sessions and promote major company events. But other social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Periscope have introduced their own live streaming platforms as well and this article will be exploring these four popular live video streaming platforms.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows for individuals, public figures, and pages to share live video with their followers on Facebook. With Facebook Live, live streamers can interact with viewers in real time with chat, and monitor live reactions to assess how the broadcast is going. Live is available to all pages and profiles on Facebook for iOS, Android, and the Facebook Creator app. Once the live stream has ended, the video content produced during the live streaming is published to the page or profile so that anyone who missed it can watch later. The video post can be removed at any time like any other post. What makes Facebook appealing is that it offers massive exposure due to Facebook’s incredible global penetration.

Instagram Live

Live video on Instagram Stories allows users to connect with followers in the moment. In-app notifications lets followers know when an account is live. Users can request to join a live stream, and hosts see the request pop up in real-time. The number of viewers appears at the top of the screen and comments appear at the bottom. Once your live video ends, you can share a replay of it like other photos and videos you share to your stories. The live video replays shared on your stories will disappear from your feed and your profile after 24 hours, unless if you add the shared live from your stories as a story highlight.


YouTube…the patriarch of online video! YouTube is one of the social media platforms that revolutionised the way we view videos online. YouTube live has come a long way from using third-party software such as encoder software for live streaming in order to do a live stream on your YouTube channel. YouTube Live made its debut in early 2018, and is available as a desktop and mobile feature. YouTube Live provides opportunities to broadcast live games, live music and live news. This is a platform that welcomes all types of live content and live streaming choices are virtually unlimited!


Periscope is an app that allows you to share and experience live video streams direct from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. The immediacy of the app allows you to respond to user comments in real time, and makes for a much more active viewing experience. You don’t need a Periscope account to view, but you will need to sign up if you’d like to broadcast yourself or if you’d like to comment or “heart” a live stream video. As Periscope is now owned by Twitter, it’s no surprise that the app is well integrated with Twitter. It allows you to connect easily with your Twitter followers and to notify Twitter followers of your Periscope broadcasts.

Live streaming can be great for your business because it allows users to engage with your brand in multiple ways at the same time. The right livestreaming platform for your brand will largely depend on your target audience and where it likes to hang out. But regardless of the platform, the key is to create live content that communicates your company’s values in a way that is engaging, entertaining and, above all, valuable.