Facebook Live broadcasts up 4X since May

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Image: Facebook

Facebook Live is seeing a big uptick in use with the amount of broadcasts increasing fourfold since May.

The news of Facebook Live’s growth comes as the social media company is launching a new ad campaign to continue raising awareness of the feature among its users. In the U.S. and the U.K., Facebook will be running TV spots, web ads and signage (including on airport baggage carousels) to show off the feature.

“We designed our campaign to reflect the authenticity of Facebook Live. All of the content for the campaign—every video, every image—was shot using Facebook Live on a phone. Many of the videos you’ll see in our TV spots are from real people around the world, and none of the dialogue was scripted,” said Facebook CMO Gary Briggs in a Facebook post.

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In addition to going up against fellow livestreaming apps like Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live is beginning to emerge of somewhat of a competitor for traditional broadcast or perhaps a means of enhancing viewer engagement with linear TV.

Viacom Lab, a division of Viacom bent on developing new forms new programming formats to follow evolving viewer behavior, is working on incorporating fan-created livestreams into live TV.

A more high-profile use of the technology came during Donald Trump’s Facebook livestream of last week’s presidential debate. The Republican candidate’s Facebook Live event featured commentators, analysis and graphics, making it look more like a traditional broadcast than just a live stream over IP. The stream is rumored to be a precursor to an official launch of a Trump TV network.

Facebook Live has been building up functionality for its video platform as it seeks to operate more closely in form to a traditional broadcast. Recently, Facebook added the ability to schedule broadcasts up to a week in advance and also allow viewers to join a lobby ahead of the scheduled broadcast. That gives Facebook Live users the ability to better promote live broadcasts and to better ensure viewers are tuned in from the beginning of a broadcast.