By Adam Fraser
It’s been a big year for live streaming.
Meerkat was the breakout app of SXSW in March 2015 and shortly after Twitter launched its newly acquired business Periscope. The confluence of social media at scale, bandwidth improvement and mobile phone capability meant that live streaming’s time had come.
Debate continued ad nauseum on the Meerkat v Periscope battle. Who would be the winner? How did they compare? It appeared to be a 2 horse race.
Hold on there. An 800lb gorilla just entered the room. Facebook launched its “Facebook live” service in August 2015. Initially only offered to “public figures”, it seems highly likely that once tested and refined, a broader based service will be offered to Facebook’s regular users. And as YouTube has found out, when Facebook has a serious crack at a sector, legacy participants had better take note.
Facebook is dipping its toe in the bath for live streaming for now. Given the momentum in this space and its growing popularity, I expect a further broadening of its footprint in the near future.
A two horse race just got interesting. In addition to Facebooks move, Brian Fanzo mentioned a number of other new entrants and innovations in the live streaming space in this podcast chat with me. Things just got interesting for the cosy duopoly of Meerkat and Periscope.
The themes of rapid adoption, innovation, disruption and intense competition are all evident in the live streaming sector. Meerkat and Periscope themselves continue to innovate but given the might of its user base and balance sheet, it would be unwise to dismiss or underestimate Facebook’s latest move. A dynamic and interesting space to keep an eye on for the remainder of 2015.