Live-streaming video is the buzzword of 2016 for social media. YouTube, Meerkat, Periscope and Livestream itself are all battling out for dominance in the space. Who can present the best platform to turn your phone into this year’s citizen journalist?

Enter the mobile elephant in the room, Facebook Live. The empire of Zuckerberg has taken the leash off Facebook Live and updated the iOS app for Facebook. You can officially annoy your friends with everything.

Facebook Live Pushes Livestream

Initially, the feature was available to pages of celebrities and verified pages. That changes today for iPhone owners. Fire up the Facebook app and get to streaming. Your wireless provider thanks you for the obscene overage charges.

The push into live video is sparking headlines of Facebook going to war with Twitter (Periscope) and YouTube. It’s Facebook, they automatically win. Not exactly and they don’t need to win in regards to battling Periscope or YouTube live-streaming offerings.

Facebook can’t without annoying the hell out the userbase. To spark growth, it has to enable an increase in organic reach. Raise your hand if you think that’s about to happen. Pay-to-play? Sure, but try convincing the various business pages of the rationale for building a livestream.

Facebook Live feature in action

There isn’t one.

What makes Periscope and others appealing is it was developed for people who want to stream in mind. You follow the person you like, and you always get updated. Is Facebook going to suddenly allow you to get 100 percent of the updates from your favorite Facebook Live users? No.

And in a way, that’s a good thing. It enables a walled garden that has been sorely lacking in the space. Imagine you want to show off a birthday party / wedding/ whatever to friends and family.

Sure, you can set up private YouTube feeds, etc., but that’s a pain in the ass. Periscope has a tendency to promote trending feeds. Before you know it, your private moment becomes a Buzzfeed listicle.

For once, there’s a benefit to Facebook’s reduced organic reach. Stick to your personal profile and share all the live events to people you want to watch. Now, that relies on your ‘friend’ not being an ass and popping the link on Reddit but welcome to the Internet.

Facebook Live benefits from being able to save the video. Want to keep the memory of you eating In-N-Out for the tenth time this week? Done. Post it on your timeline with pride.

Looking to make your mark as the next citizen journalist or lifestyle blogger? Wrong platform. Unless you’re a celebrity or a major media organization, you won’t have the reach. Periscope and others offer more discovery tools and analytics to make it worthwhile.

It shrinks your audience down and sticks with Facebook’s intent: more intimate moments with friends and family. Now, what those said friends and family livestream is a different animal. Can’t help you if it’s a non-stop avalanche of their baby walking or their latest attempt of what appears to be them at the gym.

iOS users should have the update now with an Android version on the way.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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