Live-Streaming on Social Media: What You Need to Know

MiaInbound Marketing, Social MediaLeave a Comment

 Just when you thought you got a handle on creating content on social media, live-streaming enters the picture.

Since 2015, social media platforms have pivoted towards airing content with live-streaming in an effort to increase app engagement. Live-stream users have shared a variety of experiences with the digital universe such as traveling across the globe, attending professional conferences or sitting front row at performances.

Users can feel as if they’re in the room with the host and partake in an activity that they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise without live-streaming.

As exciting as live-streaming may be for active social media users, it may not enthuse non-marketing savvy business owners who are already managing how to implement the best strategies for existing social media platforms.

Let’s demystify what live-streaming is and how you can use it to your professional advantage:

A Short History of Live-Streaming

Meerkat, Periscope set the stage for live-streaming in 2015.

Meerkat faced challenges when Twitter’s Periscope launched, then banned Meerkat from using Social Graph, but Meerkat has been able to innovate itself with the launch of HouseParty, a live-video group chat app for up to 8 users. Periscope, on the other hand, has not reported any user or usage data since 2015—it can be inferred that Twitter does not want to report a decreasing number of users to the public, given the struggles Twitter continues to face.

Although the early pioneers of live-streaming have lost ground on their market share power, it doesn’t mean that other social media platforms haven’t succeeded.

In 2016, Facebook and Instagram were able to innovate the live-stream model and implement their new features, Facebook Live and Instagram Direct. Facebook and Instagram had already released their own video statuses, known as Stories, so they were able to capitalize on a trending interest among their hundred of millions of users. Statistics report that Facebook Live videos are watched three times longer than standard uploaded videos and one-third of Instagram users are using Instagram Stories every day.

That’s a lot of live-streaming.

The opportunities for live-streaming are exciting, but companies are testing the limits of its capabilities. 

Enter Busker.

Busker presented a great opportunity for live-streaming influencers to make an income. However, the app was asked to cut its profits, but doing so would have lessened the customer’s income and hampered the user experience. Busker valued its commitment to creating a better customer experience than creating more profits. Knowing that the app would no longer be profitable for anyone involved, Busker closed in September 2017.

How You Can Use Live-Streaming for Your Business

Live-streaming gives users the opportunity to engage on a level beyond static images and planned videos. The allure of live-streaming for users is its immediacy and reality.

How to Use Live-Streaming for your business

Possible Topics for Live-Streaming

  • Host a Live Product Demonstration
  • Take a live tour of your company’s office, town or city
  • Take viewers behind-the-scenes of a company event, product manufacturing, buying trip, etc.
  • Interview your company’s business owner, internal staff members, trustees, volunteers, interns
  • Discuss a current event in your industry and make a professional commentary
  • Host a Q&A panel of 2-3 guests related to your product, service, lifestyle under a common topic (ex: “Why Small Business Saturday is Important,” specifically for your hometown with 2-3 fellow business owners)

Execute a Successful Live-Stream

  • Promote your live-streaming session in advance on all of your social media platforms and email newsletter
  • Keep your live-streaming session during a finite period of time
  • Plan the format of your live-streaming session and stay organized

Recap of Live-Streaming Apps


  • Launched 2015
  • Number of users: 2 million users (2015)


  • Launched 2015
  • Number of users: 10 million users (2015)


  • Launched 2016
  • Closed 2017
  • Number of users: 30,000 users (2016)

Facebook Live

Instagram Direct

  • Launched 2016
  • Number of users: 150 million daily users (2017), 700 million monthly users (2017)

(Snapchat’s Live Video Chat)

  • Launched
  • Number of users: 166 million daily users (2017)


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