Live-streaming is the next big thing to hit social media, and Meerkat and Periscope are the latest platforms to hit app stores – opening up a world of possibility for businesses to connect with consumers.
Since the introduction of YouTube, Facebook video and Vine, video has dramatically changed the way we use social media. Already a feature on social media juggernaut Facebook, video sharing was incorporated into Instagram in June 2013, and into messaging app Snapchat in May 2014.
Meerkat was the first live-streaming video app to appear last month. It allows users to stream live video from their smartphone to the internet. In addition to sending messages to the broadcaster, users can “like” videos and retweet the live-steam to their Twitter followers. Unfortunately at this stage you have no say in what the tweet looks like.
Twitter’s Periscope followed a week later. The app allows users to stream live video broadcasts to anywhere in the world via Twitter. Followers have the opportunity to interact with the broadcaster in real-time using messages and “hearts” (think of the Facebook “like” button).
Is live-streaming worthwhile?
Yes! And the opportunities for business are significant as businesses and individuals can run and operate their own live TV channel. Plus, it allows businesses receive real-time input and feedback from consumers.
Likewise, live-streaming also puts a face to brand. We have already seen many Australian CEOs and Managing Directors taken a more transparent and visual role in their respective companies – think David Thodey and Mike Smith – with tremendous results. Now imagine if they took to live-streaming to address questions from their stakeholders and customers – the companies would be building a truly transparent and open community, humanising the brand.
We saw the positive response the US Government’s virtual Big Block of Cheese Day had with the public. Not only were they given direct access via social media to high-level members of the Obama administration, they were able to discuss issues which were most important to them. Imagine the impact this day will have in 2016 when members will use live-streaming apps to interact with constituents!
Live-streaming also lends itself to live events and product launches. Earlier this week, Mashable took to the red carpet event of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and streamed its interviews and the whole red carpet experience via Meerkat and Periscope for users to follow. Not only were you able to ask the actors questions directly, users felt like they were a part of the experience.
While live-streaming for the everyday business and consumer is very new, there are endless opportunities for the social media phenomenon to grow.
Tell us below if you would consider using Meerkat or Periscope in your business?
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