by Mark Ollig
Copyright © 2016 Mark Ollig
Facebook now allows its users to broadcast live video via its Facebook Live feature.
According to Facebook; “Live lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.”
A single Facebook Live broadcast video stream can last up to 90 minutes.
Many social media and news organizations have taken advantage of this new way of networking with their online viewing audiences.
The Facebook Live video streams I’ve seen are usually being broadcast from a smartphone.
The media realizes this new method of online social interaction, featuring on-air personalities and other employees performing their jobs from behind the camera, is a new way of attracting and connecting with people on a more personal level.
Local TV stations are having Facebook Live sessions to allow viewers a behind-the-scenes look.
I feel this new interaction also forms a “comfort bonding” with new followers, who then become online Facebook friends with the media personalities.
As a result, these new followers will likely watch more of their programing.
The TV and radio social media stations I follow sometimes “go live” on Facebook to share a breaking-news or weather update, or report on a human-interest story.
Users who click a Facebook Live video link from their News Feed, or the broadcaster’s Page, are taken to the content provider’s live-streaming video, where they watch and listen to what is happening in real-time.
There, Facebook viewers can communicate by typing comments which are seen by the social media source broadcasting.
Other Facebook users participating in the Facebook Live broadcast can also see and respond to comments.
Last week, Facebook user: Alice@97.3 was broadcasting live video directly from inside an on-air radio station’s studio, located at KPIX CBS in San Francisco.
A round-table discussion was taking place with three folks wearing headphones, and speaking into those cool-looking radio studio microphones.
The right-hand side of my screen showed Facebook user’s comments and questions as they scrolled by.
Someone at the radio station was monitoring these messages, and would pass them along to the on-air radio personalities.
Floating below the live video feed from right to left, were the “Like” “Love” and “Ha-ha” reaction emoticons Facebook users would click as they joined this Facebook Live session.
The Facebook page of the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, is one of many social media outlets I follow.
Last Tuesday, WHO alerted its followers about participating in a Facebook Live conversation with “global health experts live from the World Health Assembly.”
Facebook users could directly participate during this livestream by posting questions or comments on the live-video cast Facebook user comment section.
Users of “the other social media network” or Twitter, could also post comments seen by WHO using the Twitter hashtag: “#AntimicrobialResistance” which happened to be the current topic of the WHO Facebook Live broadcast.
One particular Facebook media page I have been watching and participating in is NBC Bay Area.
NBC Bay Area is a television media outlet broadcasting from San Jose, CA; however, they mostly feature the local news, weather, traffic, and sports around the San Francisco bay area.
I began watching their daily Facebook Live segments a few weeks ago.
NBC Bay Area has promoted their station by going “live in studio,” using the Facebook Live program app on one of their producer’s smartphones.
Early each morning, an alert message and link appears under my Facebook notifications saying: “NBC Bay Area is live. Producer Nitin is making his rounds behind-the-scenes of Today in the Bay. Also check us out on TV.”
I click the link and see live video from Nitin’s smartphone appear.
I see the inside of the NBC Bay Area newsroom as he walks down a hallway.
Nitin gives viewers a daily tour, encountering the people who produce, research, interview, write, direct, and broadcast the stories for their “Today in the Bay” morning TV broadcast.
He sometimes surprises the folks in their office cubes by abruptly announcing they are being watched by “Our Facebook friends.”
“Good morning, everyone, we are live on Facebook . . . behind the scenes Today in the Bay!” says Nitin as he walks by people seated at their desks’ working on various stories.
I noted, in the upper right- hand corner, a flashing red icon indicating the broadcast was live.
A display read 102 viewers were currently participating in this Facebook Live session.
The on-air TV news anchors were finishing their reports on a couple stories as the station went into a break (commercial).
Nitin approached the news desk with his cellphone’s camera pointed at the NBC Bay Area morning news anchor team behind the desk: Sam Brock and Laura Garcia-Cannon.
“This is our team!” Nitin said to us as he approached the news desk.
The two morning news anchors noticed the approaching cellphone directed at them, and smiled.
Be sure to read next week’s exciting conclusion as we bring you: Behind-the-scenes fun with Facebook Live: Part Two.
Yours truly gets his moment to shine in the spotlight with the NBC Bay Area morning news anchors.
I usually learn something new in these Facebook Live broadcasts, which can originate from any place around the country – or the planet.
It’s also a lot of fun.
Be sure to follow my tweets (which I post live) on Twitter using my @bitsandbytes user handle.