“Live” is everywhere. Snapchat is doing it. Twitter has plans to enhance it. Periscope and Meerkat are built on it.
So it’s not exactly surprising that Facebook is now getting in on live action. The social networking giant began testing a new feature on Friday that brought the annual Chicago music festival Lollapalooza live to users at home. Users could browse Lollapalooza’s “Place Tips,” a Facebook initiative that launched earlier this year, to see updates and photos from their friends at the festival as well as live, trending content from artists.
Fans at the event in Chicago could also use Place Tips in their Facebook app to see the band lineup for the day and figure out how to get to the next show they wanted to see. “Facebook is using location signals like GPS as well as physical Facebook Bluetooth beacons to surface Place Tips to people at the show in high-traffic areas of the festival,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
With its massive user base, Facebook’s entrance into live events has the potential to attract an audience of an entirely different scale.
Perhaps more importantly, users who wanted to skip the crowds altogether could follow the event from the comfort of their couch or pool all in one place in the app, rather than seeing bits and pieces scattered throughout their feeds. Facebook says that the majority of Facebook monthly active users are connected to a musician or band page, so Lollapalooza may have been the perfect way to see how fans would respond to the option of following along at home—and for artists to see how they could connect with those fans via the app.
Facebook’s initiative doesn’t sound all that new. After all, Snapchat has already become a dominant force in bringing live events from around the world to viewers at home with “Stories.” Twitter has announced plans to offer a new tab with curated tweets that offer up what’s happening at real-time live events. And several live streaming apps, like Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat, are hoping broadcasting yourself live will become as easy and ubiquitous as texting.
But with its massive user base, Facebook’s entrance into live events has the potential to attract an audience of an entirely different scale. Live events are popular on Twitter, where many people tune in to cheer, joke, or chat with others during televised attractions such as the Super Bowl or series premieres—the running commentary of the so-called “second screen.”
Advertisers, of course, love live events because they can directly tailor and target their messages to a captive audience—say, pop music lovers. But Facebook has a billion more monthly active users than its struggling rival. With its massive reach, Facebook could attract a truly global live audience that it could serve up to advertisers seeking to connect with the whole world.Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.