Facebook Live: Are You Ready for This?

Without question, Facebook has become the dominant, most recognized livestreaming portal on the internet, with nearly 80 percent of all broadcasters already using the platform.

Facebook Live: Are You Ready for This?
The streaming information and familiar Facebook interface provides everything you need to direct your encoder or cloud transcoding service to publish a livestream.

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Facebook Live: Are You Ready for This?

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The most important thing, though, is to recognize that cameras allow our worship services to reach beyond the four walls of the local church.

Many years ago, I asked a friend of mine if he had heard of the then-popular MySpace social media website. His snarky response to my sincere question was, “I don’t know Tim, have you heard of the internet?”

Facebook, without question, has become the dominant, most recognized livestreaming portal on the internet.

We shared a good laugh.

I felt like an idiot.

Obviously, today, I wouldn’t dare ask people if they’ve heard of Facebook, as I’m sure the snark factor would be much greater. Similarly, a very witty, appropriate response to, “Have you heard of Facebook Live streaming?” could easily be met with the same brand of sarcasm.

Facebook, without question, has become the dominant, most recognized livestreaming portal on the internet. Consider these statistics from The Facebook Live Streaming Benchmark Report, conducted by Wowza Media Systems, and while you review these, ask yourself, how many churches might the statistics listed here apply to?

• Nearly 80 percent of all broadcasters are already using the platform
• Viewers watch three times longer on Facebook Live
• Viewers are 10 times more likely to comment on Facebook than on any other platform
• For every single viewer on YouTube Live, 15 users are represented on Facebook Live
• 82 percent of people polled consider Facebook Live a strategic initiative
• 66 percent stream to Facebook Live on a weekly basis

People Are Interested

Recently, attending this year’s Church IT Network National Conference and WFX Conference & Expo (both in Dallas, Texas), speaking directly with church broadcasting and technology specialists, I was impressed with nearly every conversation involving Facebook Live in some capacity.

Personally, during the past 12 months, I have invested a very large percentage of my time consulting organizations, including churches, who are taking advantage of the many opportunities introduced by Facebook Live.

On several occasions, I’ve even had the unique opportunity to visit the Facebook campus and work directly with teams, inside the live video platform. I’m absolutely amazed with the very progressive, rock-solid content delivery network (CDN) that Facebook has built and continues to expand. With this new medium, growing exponentially, there are many compelling reasons why churches should be leveraging Facebook Live as a resource to connect with people.

Based on hands-on experience and industry trends, these are my conclusions:

1. Facebook Live streaming has arrived and is here to stay. Some may resent this, some may embrace it, but there isn’t anything we can do about it, so let’s get this right!
2. Most churches are already using the platform, and if they’re not, they most likely soon will be.
3. A growing number of people are going to church, virtually, every Sunday, via Facebook Live.
4. Equipment, setup and integration is not easy when connecting to Facebook Live.
5. Not every church using Facebook Live is “doing it right.”

More About Tim Dougherty
Tim Dougherty is a Senior Solutions Engineer with Wowza Media Systems, based in Golden, Colo. A user technology expert, with more than 20 years of experience in IT, network administration, video production, and project/program management, Tim serves Wowza by helping customers visualize and integrate effective streaming media solutions.
Get in Touch: tim@wowza.com    More by Tim Dougherty

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

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