Facebook Live is still in its infancy as a platform for news. This snafu with BuzzFeed’s POTUS interview shows that https://t.co/kuJbcUBSIB
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 17, 2016
CNN Money — BuzzFeed scored a coveted interview on Monday: A sit-down with President Obama at the White House.
It was billed as the president’s “first interview on Facebook Live,” the relatively new live video service that Facebook is promoting.
There was only one problem: Facebook Live didn’t cooperate.
Some sort of technical glitch stopped BuzzFeed from live-streaming the interview at 2:55 p.m. Monday. Thankfully BuzzFeed was simultaneously live-streaming it on YouTube, so there was another way to watch.
The snafu was embarrassing for both Facebook and BuzzFeed. After all, it would be a big deal if a television network’s production of a presidential interview went awry.
Ha! I can’t even imagine this. A big, influential, several-million dollar content company having technical glitches during a big content piece? Dropping the ball technically on an interview that would draw a huge crowd? It’s unbelievable!
Honestly, this is great news. Just when I start to think maybe I hitched my wagon to a sinking pirate ship, I find out everyone else is just like us. I’m sure Buzzfeed’s Portnoy was yelling at their Hank right before Obama walked in, “Did you press record?” Next thing you know the feed cuts out and you end up with a measly 18,000 viewers:
On YouTube, the interview had a maximum “live” audience of 18,000 simultaneous viewers, which is very low for an interview with a figure like the president.
In news and media, this was kind of a big deal. The entire media world is moving away from TV and towards the internet. With Netflix and everything that’s followed it, we only really use our TVs for live sports and Game of Thrones. And big interviews. That’s about it. And with all the live-streaming attempts by different sports broadcasters in recent years, it’s clear they’re making a concerted effort to change that too.
Last month, Facebook launched Facebook Live. It’s Periscope but on Facebook: you hit a button, type in a description and boom, you’re live-streaming from your smartphone. If Facebook Live succeeds as Facebook wants it to, our televisions (and other video platforms) will become more obsolete. Which is what they want.
This wasn’t the best step forward in that effort, but Facebook’s doing plenty to keep nudging it along:
Facebook Live has been a top priority of the social networking company lately. It is paying a number of news outlets — including BuzzFeed, CNN, The New York Times, Vox, Gawker, and others — to have them “go live” on a regular basis.
PS – Shake hands weirder. You can’t.
— Adweek (@Adweek) May 17, 2016