As expected, Instagram added live video to its existing app, this week. All U.S. users should now have access to the feature.
It came as a surprise to no one when the Facebook unit announced plans to add the feature last month. After all, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent earnings call: “We’re putting video first."
More broadly, the social giant continues to push forward with its video ambitions. In October, it even launched a major ad campaign for Facebook Live.
The multiplatform campaign includes TV and out-of-home spots -- including billboards and bus wraps -- as well as digital spots that will run both on and off Facebook’s flagship property.
Since May, the number of people broadcasting live at any given minute has grown by about 400%, according to internal Facebook figures. It is clearly an engagement magnet, and Facebook has also seen that users comment over 10 times more on Live videos than on regular videos.
Although broadcasts from public figures and publishers have generated some of Live’s largest audiences, the vast majority of live videos come from regular folks, Facebook finds.
Presently, new mobile video services -- from Facebook Live to Twitter’s Periscope -- are more focused on building audience. “We expect direct monetization to follow,” Nitesh Patel, a director at Strategy Analytics, said in a recent report.
As such, worldwide revenue from mobile video will reach $25 billion by 2021, according to the research firm.
The success of Live is such a big deal to Facebook that the tech giant has been dishing out around $50 million to coax top media publishers and celebs to use it.