Commentary

Why Facebook Can't Scale Live Video Fast Enough

Not to be outdone by Periscope and similar apps, Facebook is going all in with its video-streaming feature, Live.

The social giant only began testing live video-streaming late last year. Then, last month, it expanded the ability to share live video to iPhone users in more than 30 countries.

Now, all domestic Android users are being invited to join the party, while plans are already in place to bring in Android users around the world.

It’s no wonder Facebook has been pushing so hard to get live video-streaming to every one of its roughly 1.5 billion monthly active users. On average, people watch videos on Facebook more than three times longer when they are live, by the company’s calculations.

And Android users appear to be hungrier than anyone for live video, according to Vadim Lavrusik, a product manager at Facebook, and Dave Capra, an engineering manager at the company.

“More than 50% of people watching live videos are using Android devices,” the pair write in a new co-authored blog post.

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And, as Facebook continues to scale its live-streaming feature, all this activity is generating tons of revenue.

Indeed, driven by video and mobile, Facebook is now on track to rake in roughly $12.14 billion in U.S. digital ad revenues by 2017, according to a recently revised forecast from eMarketer.

While the researcher expects Google to remain the leader in mobile through 2017, Facebook’s share is growing at a higher rate, and the gap is expected to narrow slightly over the next several years.

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