As Facebook gears up to announce a bunch of new video and messaging products at its developers conference this week, a common question has come up among industry insiders: “Where’s Google?”
Facebook seems to be leaving Google in the dust in certain areas where the search giant should have dominated. Beyond giving Facebook bragging rights, the company’s aggressive development of some of these new technologies has the potential to shake up the business landscape.
Take Facebook’s recent, dramatic push into video live-streaming.
Sure, YouTube has broadcasting capabilities. Individuals can do it through its gaming app and the company has live-streamed huge events, like the US president’s State of the Union address and several debates. But Facebook has opened up its streaming capabilities to the public, putdiscovery front and center, and already proved the virality of its approach as nearly a million people simultaneously tuned in to watch a watermelon explode.
One Facebook partner that Business Insider spoke to put it this way:
Part of the appeal of Facebook’s Live product is that broadcasters can pull in people who were already just hanging out on Facebook anyway. Google may get the same amount of people or more to watch one of their live YouTube streams, but in the majority of cases, those people will be seeking out that video, not discovering it because they were already hanging out on YouTube.
And succeeding at Live video — the closest equivalent to broadcast TV — comes with huge advertising potential.
Right now, advertisers like YouTube because it has higher-quality content and brands can attach themselves to professional creators who have a following, says Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research. Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same quantity of high-quality video for advertisers to latch on to.
“This could change if Facebook more aggressively licenses or otherwise helps to develop professional video content that runs on its platform,” Wieser notes.
And new tools to encourage high-quality streaming content on Facebook is one of the things that the company is expected to talk about at its conference this week. Read more…