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Facebook Live Streaming Isn’t the Next Big Thing — It’s Already Here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 3:49
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Facebook logoAnalyst Brad Hoppmann explores the explosive growth of Facebook Live, and lauds the many ways Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been able to monetize its audience.

Want to watch a war?

Forget CNN. Now all you have to do is go to Facebook and watch all the action unfiltered, uncut and in real time via Facebook Live video.

That is, in fact, what hundreds of thousands of viewers did yesterday. Several major news agencies opted to broadcast live video of the Battle for Mosul via the social media giant’s new FB Live function.

FB Live is basically a way of broadcasting yourself live and uncut, and in real time, via your Facebook account. Anyone can do it, provided you have a FB account and the social media platform’s latest software update.

Yesterday, Arabic news agency Al Jazeera shot four hours of Facebook Live video. (That’s the max time FB allows for a single live broadcast.)

The Al Jazeera camera crew moved to multiple battlefield hot spots. In much of the video, viewers could see and hear automatic weapon fire and explosives going off.

According to a story in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the video had some 860,000 views and 16,000 “reactions,” which are in the form of either a written comment or an emoji expressing how viewers feel about what they’re seeing.

Indeed, the revolution now seems as though it will be Facebook Live streamed.

The latest footprint on society from Facebook is something that I think we all need to get used to, as it is only going to get bigger in the years to come.

Recall that just last week, we wrote about Facebook’s role as the “A Most Unlikely Stock for the ‘War on Terror’.”

That story was all about FB’s and rival platform Twitter’s (TWTR) stepped-up efforts to get rid of members and groups advocating dangerous extremist ideologies (such as radical Islamic terrorism).

Facebook even went as far as to put out a “help wanted” post seeking out the right candidate to work as a so-called “Counterterrorism Researcher.”

Maybe the next help wanted post for FB will be for war correspondents?

All kidding aside, the advent of Facebook Live and its adoption by news agencies is truly a stunning — even game-changing — development for traditional media and social media, which seems to be converging right before our very eyes.

Think about the role Facebook and Twitter have had in this year’s raucous presidential contest.

Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to go on Twitter to throw his angry barbs into the universe.

Meanwhile, each candidate’s respective spin machines go into overdrive on Twitter and Facebook in order to “shape the narrative” after the presidential debates.

Interestingly, the growth of Facebook, Twitter and the soon-to-be-public Snapchat are remarkable and undeniable trends. Yet it is only FB that’s made the grade for investors.

Facebook shares (blue line) are up about 23% year-to-date while Twitter shares (orange line) are down 27%.

Then there’s the ongoing drama of Twitter and its potential suitors — Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Disney (DIS) and (CRM) — all backing off of the deal for a variety of reasons.

The main reason for the Twitter shun from Wall Street and its potential buyers is, to a large extent, the company’s inability to monetize their user base the way Facebook has.

So, from an investment standpoint, you can create a medium that literally changes the world. Yet unless you can prove to Wall Street that you can make money doing so, nobody will embrace your stock … and few will yearn to buy you out.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Facebook shares posted small gains in premarket trading Wednesday, changing hands around $128.66. Year-to-date, FB has surged 22.85%, versus a 4.83% return in the benchmark S&P 500 during the same period.


This article is brought to you courtesy of Uncommon Wisdom Daily.

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