As a brand looking to host a live stream on social media, it is important to understand the different platforms and their features. In this article, we compare three popular social media live streaming platforms: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Is it possible to stream on all three platforms at once? Would you be able to cross-post on Instagram through Facebook? Read on to find out more.
Why Live Stream?
Live streaming can create active viewer engagement. It gives way for a more authentic connection to be made and allows viewers to put a face to your organisation’s name.
Most platforms favour live content. For example, if you go live on Instagram, there is a higher chance of your followers tuning in, as the app notifies your followers when you go live. This increased exposure would help your brand gain traction, ultimately reaching a broader audience.
Facebook Live lets you live-stream events, performances and gatherings on Facebook. Viewers can watch from a phone, computer or connected TV. Reactions, shares, comments and other interactive features enable you to engage with your audience.
Page, Group or Event
Going live on a page would give you access to more features otherwise unavailable in group and event live streams. It is also the most popular option out of the three. Additionally, streaming on a page also allows you to share it to a group or event.
The functions exclusive to live streaming on a page include:
1. Crossposting to other pages
2. Access detailed insights in Greater Studio
3. Restrict access to a specific geographical or age demographic.
However, note that crossposting can only happen for pages that have added each other. Additionally, all leave streams on Facebook must be public.
Facebook Live Features
1. Live polls
2. Featured link
3. Go live with a guest
4. Video Trimming
Instagram Live is a feature that allows users to stream video to followers and engage with them in real time. When users broadcast live video streams on their accounts, a ring highlights their profile picture in Instagram Stories to alert followers that they can join the live stream.
Instagram Live Features
1. Stream video in real time
2. Save a replay of video to Instagram Stories
3. Engage with followers as they send likes or comments
4. Pin selected follower comments to top of the video
YouTube started streaming handpicked live events nearly ten ago through a service called YouTube Live. And in April 2011, YouTube Live rolled out to certain YouTube partners with accounts in good standing. When you are visiting YouTube Live, you can see events that are currently playing, recently aired and set reminders for upcoming live streams.
Youtube Live Features
1. Live automatic questions
2. Location Tag
3. Live Chat Replay
4. Super Chats Update
As for YouTube, you may choose to either host a public or unlisted live stream. You could also embed the stream onto your own event microsite. One thing to note is that when a viewer pauses the video, other suggested videos will appear.
Latency allows networks to recover packages that are slower to reach, thus reducing the chances of dropped or skipped frames. The latency for Facebook and YouTube range from 20-30s on average. YouTube also has a low-latency option with a latency of 5-6s instead.
This is not to be confused with computer-to-computer latency, as the term “latency” is used widely. When planning for a virtual event on social media platforms, live stream service providers would advise starting the stream 30 seconds earlier than the stipulated timing. This gives allowance for any delay, while latency will help to ensure that no frames are cut out or go missing.
Enhancing Your Live Stream
Green Screen Live Streaming
If you are looking for alternatives to spice up your virtual event, green screen live streaming is the solution for you. With a customised background to display your brand and event details, you will no longer be limited to just one location while streaming.
Live Streaming on Social Media vs. Other Platforms
Streaming on Social Media
- Better for shorter live streams; typically under an hour.
- Host impromptu events immediately.
- Automatically notifies your followers when you go live, which could translate to higher view count.
Streaming on other platforms (e.g LinkedIn Live, Cisco WebEx)
- Able to call for technical support when you need assistance.
- A knowledgeable partner who is able to build your live streaming strategy
- Specialised, more functions for corporate and larger scale events.
Engaging a Professional Live Stream Service Provider
Live Streams are easily accessible, but they are also just as easy to quit. Your audience will be quick to decide on whether a stream is worth staying in, especially on when streaming on social media platforms. Viewers are more likely to stay in a well produced live stream than a mediocre one.
Every piece of content you release will reflect on your organisation. When filming a live stream on your own, it can be very difficult to gauge and align all these factors (e.g. balance of sound, background noise etc.).
On the flip side, pristine visuals, good audio quality and a more comfortable viewing experience are just a few of the things that working with a professional will give you. If upholding a positive impression among your viewers is important to you, we suggest you consider engaging a professional live stream service provider.
Social Media Live Streaming Platforms
Here at Vivid Snaps, we offer live streaming services on multiple platforms. Apart from social media platforms, we also stream on Zoom, Cisco WebEx Live Stream and DaCast.
If you are interested in streaming on a platform not listed above, reach out to our project coordinators. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.