Less than a year into its video streaming project, Facebook Live is building up a notable library of streams it has produced both on location and within its own studios. This Wednesday it nabs the best get yet - President Barack Obama, who will convene a town hall meeting over the service at 1:45 PST.
It has been a wild hodgepodge of guests coursing through the social network's TV page. The last big political figure we recall was the George W. Bush interview last year. But Facebook Live has also featured former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bill Gates, Conan O'Brien and Mike Tyson. Currently rerunning now is an interview with the top Facebook celebrity, Vin Diesel. He has garnered more than 22 million fans and even credits Facebook fans with getting him to quit smoking. Facebook Live itself has enjoyed more modest appeal. Its fan base is just about to cross the half million mark.
Considering the raw reach of Facebook, one has to wonder why the video programming has such a modest following. Actually one visit to the Facebook Live site is a good illustration. Much like Google in its earlier days (and only less so now) Facebook still thinks that the world was meant to conform to its interface. A "wall" is not the most comfortable place to view video, and the clutter and poor organization around it makes one wonder what those guys are doing with all of that investment cash they are sitting on. Almost every major video portal is better designed. We have trouble finding video on the thing. Wouldn't it make sense to have a filtered search box in the Facebook Live area that can help us find that George W. Bush interview?
The Facebook Live page has geek design and programming sense written all over it. The videos are divided into tabs for "Announcements," "Guests," "Education" and "Demos" without a lot of explanation of what these silos are meant to contain. Essentially, celebrity content is one click away from developer content, which is in turn a click from their PR vehicle. Ugh! Turn the channel.