LinkedIn is the latest major social media network to integrate live video broadcasting into its platform, joining the ranks of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. According to the popular business-focused social networking app, live video was the most requested feature from members. The new “LinkedIn Live” feature will allow companies to live stream conferences, product announcements, Q&As, and other events led by influencers and mentors, office hours from a big tech company, earnings calls, graduation and awards ceremonies, and more.
Live video boosts engagement
Live video has been entertaining viewers and increasing user engagement on Facebook and other social networking platforms for the past few years, but as more developers integrate real-time communications into their apps and more brands take advantage of live video broadcasting, the trend shows no sign of stopping.
Part of the appeal of live video broadcasting is the direct interaction a user can have with the host or other users during a session. MeetMe, a social discovery, and dating app, has Live, a feature which allows users to broadcast themselves, watch other broadcasts, invite others to join their streams, and chat with users in real-time.
“Think of the live band that plays at your local coffee shop and how that entertainment adds to the overall social experience. It’s dynamic and it’s happening right now. That’s what live video is to MeetMe,” says Geoff Cook, Co-founder, and CEO of The Meet Group.
Since first launching the feature, over 25 percent of MeetMe’s mobile daily active users (Mobile DAU) have taken advantage of the future and use it on a daily basis. Live made such a significant impact on engagement that The Meet Group decided to implement live video across its portfolio.
Cook told Global Dating Insights, “Our apps – LOVOO, MeetMe, Tagged, and Skout – have more than 20 million minutes of live video every day, and we have not experienced cannibalization of our core text-based chat. Instead, live video fills the product gaps.”
Strong community = strong app
A successful social engagement app needs a strong, engaged community. Through live video broadcasts, users can see, hear, and communicate with each other in real-time, adding a layer of transparency to their interactions.
For users on apps like MeetMe and LiveMe, a live broadcasting app, live video is especially important as users are often cultivating relationships from a distance. Rather than rely on text messages, static photos, written profiles, or even pre-recorded video, users can have a real-time interaction without having to actually meet in person.
“You can see not just how people interact with you, but with other people, so you can see how they interact with everyone so then you don’t see just one side of the person,” Andy, a LiveMe broadcaster in England, told Elite Daily about the app’s flagship live video feature. He met his fiancée Michelle, who lives in California, on the app during one of her live broadcasts and the two have maintained their relationship by broadcasting on the app, as well as Skype and Facebook Messenger.
In order for the live broadcasting experience to be impactful for all users, however, it has to be high-quality. Sixty-seven percent of viewers believe video quality is the most important factor when watching a livestream broadcast. As a social engagement app scales, a dependable, global network is needed to ensure each user sees and hears each other in real-time, no matter their location or device.
More opportunities, more monetization
One of the most appealing benefits of implementing live video broadcasting in a social engagement platform is that it opens up new channels of revenue.
Perhaps the most obvious, direct way for social engagement apps to monetize is through advertising and partnership opportunities. As companies look to spend some of their television and traditional advertising budgets elsewhere, they’re looking for new platforms and apps with highly engaged audiences to promote their products and services. For social engagement apps (especially those that are free to download), offering ad placements during live broadcasts is a simple, effective way to earn make money.
Another way social apps can monetize their live video broadcasts is through virtual gifts. Virtual gifting has been a popular way for broadcasters to earn from revenue from their content for years, but apps like LiveMe and Periscope introduced the concept to the U.S. Now many apps have virtual gifting mechanisms, as well as offer exclusive content and other features like special filters, stickers, and more, that users can buy. The benefit is twofold for the social engagement app, as it incentivizes its creators to create quality content and gives them the chance to earn cash for their skills, talent, and efforts.
Integrating live video broadcasting into their platforms is a no-brainer for social engagement apps. The opportunities for increased engagement, a stronger community, and more revenue are ones they can’t pass up.
Need a partner to help you integrate live video into your social app? Learn how Agora is helping social engagement apps and startups like MeetMe, Gravy, and Mech Mocha boost their platforms through live video, voice, and interactive broadcasting.