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Live Video Roundup: Meet the Main Players

Posted on 6.21.2016

Live video has been taking over the social media world as of late, and it seems that just about every major social network is supporting the functionality.

The popularity of the video strategy has many business professionals wanting to take advantage of it. Not only can live video help brands reach a larger and more engaged audience, but it also helps them foster an authentic connection with their audience. Knowing where to start, however, can be overwhelming.

To assist, Website Magazine has put together a live video roundup that highlights the main players supporting the functionality. Learn more by checking out the main live video players below:

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Verified channels in good standing can leverage live streaming on YouTube once the feature is enabled from the Creator Studio tools. The streaming feature was actually launched back in 2013, long before many of the other social networks on this list started supporting live video. Once the feature is enabled on YouTube, users can start streaming immediately or schedule a live event. It is also important to note that YouTube features a “live” channel that showcases live streams taking place on its platform, which currently has more than 2 million subscribers.


Another player that has supported live video for quite some time is Google+. The social network’s Hangouts On Air offering requires users to have a YouTube channel and a connected Google+ profile or page (newly created YouTube channels are automatically connected to Google+). After that, users can start or schedule a Hangout On Air, as well as choose who joins the broadcast (up to 10 people total). Once the broadcast is over, it is posted to the broadcaster’s YouTube channel and Google+ homepage, where it can be edited and shared. What’s more, broadcasters can embed the video on their websites too.


Meerkat definitely had a hand in making the current live video trend popular, but has lost a bit of steam in the last year. This can be attributed to the rise of competitors in the market, along with Twitter cutting off the live streaming app from its social graph last year. With this decision, Twitter was getting ready to give the advantage of its large audience to its own live streaming service, Periscope.

Those that do leverage Meerkat, however, have the ability to embed their streams on their website. In fact, Meerkat’s embedded player is useful because it not only shows live streams, but also upcoming streams or stats from previous streams when the user is not live.


Twitter-owned Periscope is a live streaming app that has definitely had a hand in making live video popular. In fact, back in March, Periscope unveiled some stats that revealed more than 200 million broadcasts have been recorded on its platform, and that more than 110 years of live video are watched every day on its iOS and Android apps. Since then, the app has unveiled some new functionality for its platform, including permanent broadcasts and a comment moderation system.

Through the app, users can view live video from around the world in real time, engage with the broadcasts with comments and hearts, view broadcasts that aren’t live and follow other users. It is also important to note that Periscope users can easily share their broadcasts on Twitter by tapping the bird icon before starting to record. When the video goes live, a tweet with a link to the broadcast is sent out, which followers can tap on to watch the broadcast live on the Web or through the Periscope app.


Facebook’s live video functionality has become very popular very quickly. Brands are hopping on the live video bandwagon on the social network not only to better engage their audiences, but also because the social network gives more prominence to live videos in its News Feed.

Live video is pretty simple to use on the social network (check out Website Magazine’s Guide for Going Live on Facebook), and new features are continually being added. For instance, last month Facebook introduced the ability to go live in Groups and Events. In the same announcement, the social network also introduced reactions for live broadcasts, as well as filters and new discovery features.


The most recent social network to jump on the live video bandwagon is Tumblr. Earlier this week the blogging site announced the ability for users to broadcast from its platform. The functionality is a result of integrations with YouTube, Kanvas, YouNow and Upclose, where users can go to post their live videos. In order to go live on Tumblr from any of these services, however, users must connect their Tumblr account to their account from where they will be streaming.

Live broadcasts are shown to anyone who follows the broadcaster on Tumblr, and while the broadcast is live it is pinned to the top of followers' dashboards. Plus, broadcasts can be reblogged and become a regular video post after the live streaming is finished.

What platform has your company had the most live video success with? Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below!

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