Earlier this week, Facebook announced it would change the news feed to prioritize on-going, live broadcasts. The news came as no surprise to us here at Applause. With Facebook users watching live streams 3x longer than saved ones (according to TechCrunch) and the social network giant in constant competition with its real-time social network rival, Twitter (who owns Periscope), Facebook’s algorithm change to favor live broadcasts was inevitable.
The decision ultimately signals Facebook’s declaration of war on Twitter at a time when the real-time social network is feeling the heat from Wall Street. Twitter – which acquired the live stream app Periscope in March 2015 – announced no user growth in 4Q15. Perhaps even more alarming for Twitter was the extreme backlash last month over the real-time network’s suggestion that it would change its algorithm to be more like Facebook, displaying tweets from users it thinks you’d be more interested in. The proposed change was met with harsh criticism, causing the hashtag #RIPTwitter to ironically become a trending topic.
The algorithm change is great news for marketers though. With organic reach on Facebook steadily declining over the last few years, marketers will now have a fresh avenue to cut through the NewsFeed clutter to become top of mind for consumers. The reach implications of Facebook’s algorithm change are enormous, especially if the live video is created by an established influencer. Brands and marketers planning live stream activations can now enjoy a boost in video content impressions and sales conversions.
Influencers should also rejoice in this new opportunity to leverage live video to accumulate more followers and build their brand. Mastering the live stream media format and learning how to leverage the interactive nature of live video should be a key goal for social influencers worldwide.