Jun 24, 2016

    Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr push live video content


    SOCIAL media platforms are upping the ante on their live video offerings, with fresh initiatives announced this week.

    Facebook has signed celebrities to produce content for its new live video service, Twitter announced new 140-second video tweets, and Yahoo-owned Tumblr is introducing live video streaming.

    The new feature by Tumblr does not have its own underlying technology platform like Facebook Live but will allow users to post from YouTube and other services.

    "You'll be able to broadcast yourself directly into your followers' dashboards," said a Tumblr statement.

    "And they'll be able to broadcast themselves directly into yours," it added on Tuesday.

    Facebook's test programme calls for "a relatively small number of partners that includes a broad range of content types from regions around the world" receiving "temporary financial support to encourage experimentation with this new format", it said on Tuesday.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that the social network had signed at least 140 contracts worth more than US$50 million (S$67 million) as part of the effort.

    The report said Facebook was working with media firms, including New York Times, CNN and BuzzFeed, and personalities such as actor Kevin Hart, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and sports stars.

    Also on Tuesday, Twitter said it is increasing the time limit for video tweets to 140 seconds to draw in more users with visual content.

    The new limit applies to the video embedded in tweets.

    "Video tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50 per cent since the beginning of 2016," said Twitter's product development chief Jeremy Rishel.

    Live video streaming has become a popular tool on social media in recent months.

    Tumblr users will be able to upload from Google-owned YouTube as well as other applications such as YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose.