×

Facebook Launches Live-Streaming Video for Celebs, But Not Regular Users

Facebook is rolling out a Periscope-like live-broadcasting feature for famous people like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Serena Williams as a new way to connect with their millions of fans.

For now, live-streaming video on Facebook is strictly for VIPs: Only celebrities and public figures who have been verified by Facebook can access the new broadcasting tool from the Facebook Mentions app.

According to the company, stars planning to hold live broadcasts on the service include the Rock, Serena Williams, Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaka, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart, Michael Bublé and WWE’s Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Users can tune in to watch live, and ask questions during the broadcast — which the celebrity host can respond to immediately.

“Our goal with Facebook Mentions is to give public figures tools to connect with their fans authentically,” said product manager Vadim Lavrusik. “Video is some of the most authentic content we’ve seen, and being able to interact with a public figure in real time is such an intimate experience.”

See More: Facebook Launches iPhone App Exclusively for Famous People

The business reason behind Facebook’s celebri-casting move is to drive up the time users spend on the service, thereby increasing the potential to serve up more ads. Facebook has a concerted strategy to expand video consumption, and recently announced a trial of a related-videos feature that will share ad revenue with publishers for the first time.

As Facebook’s video views have exploded — topping 4 billion per day on average in the first quarter, according to the company — the company also has come under attack from YouTube content owners who complain it’s not doing enough to block unauthorized videos from being posted.

“It’s a little inexcusable that Facebook, a company with a market cap of $260 BILLION, launched their video platform with no system to protect independent rights holders,” Hank Green, who runs the popular VlogBrothers channel on YouTube, wrote in a blog post this week. Green cited a report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs finding that of the 1,000 most popular Facebook videos in Q1 2015, 725 were “stolen re-uploads” that accounted for 17 billion views in the period.

In response to the criticism, Facebook says it takes intellectual property rights seriously and that it’s building new ways to let content owners identify and manage infringing content.

On the live-streaming front, Facebook is starting with celebrities because they’re huge traffic drivers. According to the social giant, more than 900 million people are connected to actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and other influencers on Facebook.

Public figures’ live video will appear in the News Feed of fans who follow them on Facebook, and users who have recently interacted with their posts will also receive a notification when a broadcast starts. After the broadcast has ended, the video will be archived on a celeb’s page (although it can be deleted).

More Digital

  • Vobile - ZEFR acquisition - Yangbin

    Zefr Sells Its Copyright-Flagging and YouTube Channel-Management Businesses to Vobile for $90 Million

    Vobile Group, a video protection and measurement company, announced a deal to acquire Zefr’s RightsID copyright-management and ChannelID YouTube channel-management businesses for about $90 million. According to the companies, Zefr’s RightsID and ChannelID together generated over $40 million in revenue in 2018 and were profitable. The deal stands to more than triple the revenue for [...]

  • Justin Connolly

    Disney Merges All Media Sales and TV Channel Distribution Under Justin Connolly

    Disney promoted longtime ESPN exec Justin Connolly to the new role of president, media distribution, overseeing a single organization that combines all of the company’s media sales and TV channel distribution operations. Connolly previously served as EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin [...]

  • NASA - International Space Station

    Hulu Is Getting NASA TV in Time for the Moon Landing Anniversary

    Hulu’s live TV service is getting NASA TV just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. In addition to a live feed, which is available only to subscribers of Hulu’s live TV tier, Hulu is also gaining access to select NASA TV series on demand. The live TV deal was announced [...]

  • iheartmedia logo

    iHeartMedia Stock Drops in NASDAQ Debut

    Shares of iHeartMedia, the U.S.’s biggest radio network, fell as much as 7% after they commenced trading Thursday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and ended the day down around 3%. Last month, after exiting a year-long bankruptcy reorg, iHeartMedia announced it was approved for listing on NASDAQ, instead of pursuing an IPO. The company’s [...]

  • iHeartMedia-Pride-Media-TheOutcast-Logo

    iHeartMedia, Pride Media to Co-Produce Slate of LGBTQ+ Podcasts

    iHeartMedia is teaming with Pride Media, the media company whose brands include Out, The Advocate and Pride, to co-produce a slate of LGBTQ+ podcasts in 2019-20. The partnership will kick off with “The Outcast,” an iHeartRadio original podcast co-produced with Out Magazine. Hosted by Out Magazine deputy editor Fran Tirado, the weekly podcast will explore [...]

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Shares Dive After Q2 Stumble: Just a Hiccup or Sign of Bigger Trouble?

    Netflix badly undershot its subscriber forecasts for the second quarter of 2019 — posting its first net U.S. customer decline since 2011 while growth slowed considerably overseas. The company added 2.7 million subs worldwide, almost half as many as the 5 million it had projected. With the big miss, Netflix shares took a predictable hit, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content