Every list of 2017 social media trends contains the words live video. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are stepping on Periscope’s toes. With the exception of Pinterest, almost every social media platform now offers live video, including Twitter, with livestreams of big events like the election debates.
Thanks to live video and the conversational social trend, evergreen content is dying. Users don’t want to click through slideshows or read how-to articles. They want to know what’s going on now in exclusive, exciting experiences that are more valuable because they’re ephemeral. As social media becomes more political — with Facebook on the forefront of election coverage — interest in live video will surge because it’s breaking, raw, uncensored. Grassroots.
The most watched live video of the year, with 164.7 million views, was shot in a car on a smartphone. About half the videos on Facebook’s Top 10 most watched list were political, but Chewbacca Mom is much lighter.
Brands that have an authentic, grassroots persona will find live video an easy fit for their current content strategies — and an inexpensive one. Buzzfeed broke the Top 10 with a simple countdown to the election, which was checked (or watched) 51 million times.
But more polished brands can also benefit from the trend. In 2017, live 360 will help brands with bigger budgets attract viewers with higher production value video. Celebrities who live stream their lives, like the Kardashians, laid the groundwork for live video’s takeover in 2017. Constant updates became synonymous with insider glimpses of unreachable worlds: Kim Kardashian’s Instagram makes followers feel as if they’re almost living her luxurious lifestyle with her. And KimK is about as far as you can get from the raw appeal of grassroots live footage.
The second-most watched live video on Facebook was shot in a backyard, again, on a phone.
In 2017, how will your brands shift from evergreen to live content?
UPDATE: Facebook just launched Live Audio. Social media is going all-in on live content in 2017.
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