The rise of live video has provided brands and their fans a whole new way to interact with each other. It was only over a year ago when Meerkat spread like wildfire at South By Southwest and introduced the masses to live video streaming. Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, and Instagram paved the way by making videos popular but Periscope and Facebook Live is leading the way for live video. Periscope currently has more than two million daily active users and people, on average, spend three times more watching Facebook Live videos compared to a video that isn’t live.

Intimate

The instant gratification of our society today is what drives this new platform because of how connected it makes everyone feel. There is no other social network that can provide authentic relationships and the live engagement like Periscope and Facebook Live does. According to a study, 78% of people watch videos online every week and 55% watch videos online every day. It is only fitting that this is happening now with mobile content on the rise and some people even using their devices more than desktop computers.

 

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The New Twitter

Twitter changed how news outlets and journalists reported the news, just like television did before the internet. People can report and keep track of anything going on in the world right on their mobile phone at any given minute. But with live streaming, users can stream video content right on their devices whenever something goes on like the tragedies in Paris and Orlando. Instead of waiting for news crews to arrive, people in the vicinity were able to use their phones and stream what was going on to the rest of the world in real time.

Multiple Uses

Live streaming isn’t only for reporting the news. Twitter reportedly paid $10 million for streaming rights to ten NFL games next season where they could sell 15 ad slots per game. They even teamed up with ESPN to live stream games from Wimbledon right on Twitter where people could join and tweeted their thoughts and reactions.

It’s has gotten to a point where the popular gaming website, Twitch (which sold to Amazon for $1 billion in 2014), introduced a “Social Eating” channel where you can watch people do nothing but eat their meals.

Perfect For Anyone To Use

Anyone can start a live stream anytime, anywhere. It is what makes it so perfect for marketers and content creators. Many people across different backgrounds like athletes, musicians, teachers, and influencers can use this platform to spread their wisdom, connect, and gain new fans. More than 50% of marketing professionals stated that live video has one of the best return on investments than other social media platforms they were on.

Getting Started

Is live streaming right for you? Some people may not think so but like with any other social media platform, there is an audience for almost anything.

The important thing to remember is to have a plan in place before you start and to share some sort of value while you are live streaming and be consistent at it. People will start to gather if you are providing valuable and interesting content. There are people on Periscope who give walking tours of major cities around the world and even a painter that attracts more than 50,000 people who watch her paint.

 

Whatever the case may be, live video looks like it will be around to stay because of how easy it is. Many celebrities use it to give viewers an inside look at their daily lives and routines, something a picture on Twitter and a 15-second video on Instagram can’t do.

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This article originally appeared on the Thirsty blog.