Facebook Live Has Big Week On House Floor

Whatever your position on gun control, there’s no question that this week’s sit-in on the House floor was a win for Facebook Live.

Along with Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook’s live video-streaming feature made it possible for people to follow the political drama, because Republican leaders had ordered the House to shut down its official camera feed.

As of yesterday morning, the Live feeds of some 19 members of Congress had been watched more than 3 million times, according to Facebook.

And the exposure didn’t end there. “TV networks like C-SPAN have even broadcast Congressman Beto O'Rourke's live feed because they couldn't get a live feed of their own,” Mark Zuckerberg boasts in a new blog post.

This is a really big deal for Zuckerberg, who’s betting on live video to maintain respectable engagement rates among Facebook’s billion or so daily active users.

It’s such a big deal, in fact, that Facebook is dishing out around $50 million to coax top media publishers and celebs to use Facebook Live.

From Instagram to Facebook’s flagship property, a ton of data shows that video makes for more engaged users. For instance, as Pixability recently found, users are consistently commenting more on Instagram videos -- and comments represent a deeper level of engagement than likes, according to the video marketing firm.

To further increase engagement -- and compete directly with Snapchat -- Facebook recently bought Masquerade (a.k.a., MSQRD), a simple mobile app that allows for playful augmentations to selfies and video content.

Soon, the social giant will let MSQRD users go live on Facebook directly from the app, it announced at VidCon this week.

Additionally, Facebook said its Live feature will soon allow for two-person remote broadcasts, pre-scheduling of streams, and the creation of virtual waiting rooms for viewers.

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