Live stream is the new hot thing in social media. Through the likes of Facebook Live and Periscope, we are seeing online entrepreneurs establish their expertise, and increase their platform’s reach. How? By tackling live video, and rocking it.
The big question at the moment is which is better: Facebook Live or Periscope? Each has its’ pros and cons, and those pros and cons will continually change, but our goal with this article is to help you make an educated decision about where to put your live energy and efforts.
Your boss, your mama, Auntie Val from Georgia. They’re all on Facebook. This is a pro since those are the people who will watch and share your live streams with their friends, and their friends’ friends. If you are looking to establish your expertise of a topic and become the go-to live streamer on said topic, you’ll need people to like and share your videos.
If you’re using Facebook Live on your brand/business page, your video will be placed near the top of your fans’ timeline, which helps immensely with views. If you have a verified page, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be at the top of their newsfeeds.
The Final Countdown
This may seem like a silly pro to mention, but it’s important. Before you start your live broadcast on Facebook Live, you’re gifted 3 seconds to get yourself together. For those that may be new to live video, this will be very helpful. If you need to say a quick cuss word before you go live, get it out before that number 1 shows up.
One of the best things about Facebook are the analytics (insights). While other live stream apps have 3rd parties that can track your analytics, we all know that native analytics are best. Periscope now has analytics within the app, but they are remedial, at best.
If you create Facebook Live broadcasts on a fan page, you are given analytics of said broadcast. You can see how long people watched your video, the demographics of those people, and the reach. For online business owners or influencers, these analytics will help when working on monetary partnerships. Your analytics will also help you decide if you want to use a future live video as an ad for your page. Yes, you can do that.
Go Viral with Ease
If you are creating educational, entertaining or engaging content via live stream, Facebook Live can be the catalyst to help that content go viral. We’ve all see the power of Facebook Live firsthand, whether it’s watching a mom laugh at a Chewbacca mask, or watching police brutality as it happens. Facebook is powerful, and Facebook Live is even more powerful.
Periscope has the leg up on Facebook for this one, because their app has been available since March 2015. Facebook introduced their “Live” feature towards the end of 2015 and it was only available to verified pages.
Facebook Live is currently experiencing glitches and setbacks that Periscope has already figured out and fixed. While we know Facebook is all about the user experience, they are still young to the live stream game. If your live stream skips, or you get knocked off of Facebook Live while in the middle of your thought-provoking broadcast, please keep their online adolescence in mind.
Everyone Is Doing It
Yes, everyone is on Facebook, but everyone is also creating Facebook Live videos. I’m sure you’ve seen about 50,000 Facebook Live videos lately, and you may be almost over it already. This is the downfall of Facebook offering this to everyone. If the live broadcast option was only offered to fan pages, or verified pages (like it used to be), things wouldn’t be so noisy within the platform right now. It will eventually die down, but this is a setback at the moment for influencers and online entrepreneurs.
Comments Are Slow
The best part of live broadcasts is having real time conversations with those watching. Facebook comments on Live videos lag, which can slow down your conversation. This can be difficult for those who are looking to have their viewers be co-hosts during their broadcast. One way around this setback is to encourage viewers to ask questions and make comments, then set aside time in the middle or during the end of the broadcast to do a quick Q&A. Still, it would be better if the comments were real time, like the broadcast.
This might be one of most annoying aspects of Facebook Live at the moment. YouTube makes it easy to follow a channel that you love, with their obnoxious but useful red subscribe button. Periscope makes it easy as well, with their follow buttons located all over the app. Facebook makes things difficult by putting the subscribe button within the live video, but nowhere to be seen after.
However, there is a way to subscribe to the live streams of your favorite Facebook pages. Hover over the Like Button, scroll down the drop down menu, and select “Notifications On (Live Video).” From then on, you’ll get notified anytime that page is live. But, good Lord. That’s too much work, Facebook. Help us out with a big button on the page, please.
Now let’s talk about Periscope.
It is owned by Twitter, and you know they’re basically Facebook’s archnemesis.
Dedicated and Interactive Audience
Periscope users are all about the conversation. They want to be able to ask you questions, and have you answer them immediately. They want to contribute to the conversation with their opinions, tips, and tricks. If they see that you are interested in teaching rather than “preaching” on the platform, they will become your stans.
They’ll tune in for your broadcasts, share them, watch them over and over, buy your products and talk about your channel in their…wait for it…Facebook groups. Online influencers haven’t taken full advantage of how down Periscope followers are. It takes a bit of work to attain them, but once you do, their dedication will impress you.
There’s Room for Error
We hit up the gym to build up strength, health, and endurance. That’s what Periscope is for live stream. The users are way more accommodating to those that are new to video in general. They don’t mind your flubs, your kids yelling in the background, you saying hi to every single person in the broadcast (OK, not everyone is cool with this), and you starting a broadcast just to say “hey.” If you want to build your chops in live stream, you need to be on Periscope. Facebook Live folks don’t have time for you to “practice.” They want their entertainment or information immediately and in the most professional way possible. Periscope is the trainer. Facebook Live is The Olympics.
Niche Influencers Prosper
We’ve heard this over and over again: when it comes to online business, the riches are in the niches. This is very true for Periscope. Many online entrepreneurs and influencers are finding that they are not only building up a niche following, but that following is asking about products to BUY from them. They are basically saying “you keep giving us this free content, so how can I help you take my money?” Strange, but true. If you are very particular with the content you provide online, transitioning to Periscope is an excellent idea for you. Don’t believe me? Search the hashtag #PlannerAddict on Twitter, and see how many Periscopes (and links to products those “scopers” have created) pop up.
It’s Another “Thing”
This is the biggest con of them all. It’s another platform that you have to sign up for, learn how to use, build up from scratch, and nurture. While the following you get from Periscope can be as powerful as any other, even Facebook, you still have to put in the work. Most say that broadcasting every day for at least 21 days will yield great results on Periscope, but it’s still another thing to do. Most of us don’t have time for it, and we want to stick with the “easy” version: Facebook Live.
Trolls don’t have goals. Because they don’t, they love to hop into Periscope broadcasts and cause an uproar. This is especially true for minority and women influencers on the app, since it seems trolls have an affinity for this type of broadcaster. The trolls can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to live streaming. Periscope has worked on the removal of trolls, by having users flag accounts within a broadcast, asking within the broadcast if comments are abusive or spam, and encouraging users to block and flag accounts that are created by trolls. Basically, they have given users the power to police themselves. While their effort is appreciated, they need to come up with a better solution, or users will start to move away from this platform.
While they are now few and far between, there are still glitches within the Periscope app. Broadcasts freezing, comments disappearing, comments re-appearing in bursts, follower counts incorrect, etc. The one good thing about glitches in Periscope is that they are an indication that a new version is probably on it’s way.
About the Contributor
Amiyrah Martin is the owner of 4 Hats and Frugal, a website dedicated to teaching families how to have fun on a dime, be a baller on a budget, and live a full life on less. Besides being a top secret munitions specialist in the Air Force, she also cooks dinner almost nightly for her husband and 3 kids. Follow her on Facebook, Periscope and Twitter.