Video content is one of the most interactive and engaging formats for content on social media to date. Users of social media are consuming more video content than ever before, and live video formats are also on the rise in terms of popularity.
Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Twitter Live— all of the platforms that matter are looking towards live video streaming as a way for users to connect in real-time.
YouTube live was one of the first to be launched, starting in 2011. Facebook Live didn’t come around until 2016, but it’s become one of the most popular on social media platforms today.
Here we’re going to expand on Facebook Live statistics to understand the value it can provide you in terms of your content strategy and see how it competes with other platforms that offer similar streaming functions.
At a Glance: Facebook Live Statistics
Here are some of the most intriguing Facebook live stats:
- The daily watch time for Facebook live has quadrupled.
- The Facebook live video view count surpassed 2 billion viewers last year.
- In 2017, 1 out of every 5 Facebook videos was a live broadcast.
- In 2018, the number of Facebook live broadcasts was over 3.5 billion.
- Facebook live videos generate 6 times the interactions as traditional videos do.
- Facebook live’s search popularity increased by 330% in just a year.
- Facebook live videos get 10x more comments than normal videos.
- Facebook live users watch Facebook live videos for 3x as long as uploaded videos.
Facebook Live Videos and The Facebook Algorithm Change
In 2018, Facebook’s algorithm changed to focus on generating meaningful interactions such as comments, reactions, and shares. That means that instead of passive engagements such as likes getting precedence, meaningful interactions were given more weight as a ranking signal of the Facebook algorithm.
Another ranking signal is the type of content that a user posts. Because Facebook live videos generate more meaningful interactions, it holds a better performance against the algorithm and can get your content more reach and engagement.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO himself, confirmed that “we’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones.” It’s clear that Facebook live is one way to generate more interest in your content and get out to more users on the platform.
Social Media Streaming
In this section, we’ll talk about social media streaming in general so that we can better understand the implications of Facebook live statistics.
1. 52% of live streaming happens on social media.
Over half of all live streaming on the internet takes place on social media, which means that it should be one of your main focal points if you’re looking to expand your content strategy. This stat alone explains a bit more about why Facebook live and other social media live stream content has been so well received by social media users.
Over half of the global video audience uses social media channels such as Facebook live, Instagram live, Twitter live, YouTube, and Twitch to stream live videos. The most popular way after social media platforms are digital streaming subscriptions, then followed by TV network sites and apps.
2. 93.7% of Businesses Use Facebook.
Facebook is the top social media platform worldwide with nearly 3 billion monthly active users, and it’s also the most prominent social media channel for businesses as well. A report from 2018 “State of Social” shows that 96% of companies used Facebook actively; the number has decreased a bit to 93.7%, likely due to other prominent social media channels such as Instagram and TikTok.
Even though Facebook has decreased a bit, it’s worth noting that their live video streaming is still one of the most popular across all areas. According to MediaKix, Facebook live remains the most common platform for live video and 78% of internet users watch Facebook live videos (Livestream), making it very valuable for businesses looking to reach their audience.
3. in 2018, 42.7% of Businesses Broadcasted a Live Video.
Because of the popularity and usage statistics of Facebook live, brands and businesses are beginning to implement the content format in their strategies, and more and more are using the feature.
In 2018, there was a 38% increase in Facebook live video broadcasts from businesses accounts, taking the statistic up to 42.7%.
This is in contrast to the 2017 survey results that indicated more than two thirds of businesses didn’t create a live video during the year. Going back even longer, 2016 showed even less use of Facebook live videos by businesses, with 74% not using the format.
Over time, it’s clear that the popularity and usage of Facebook live by businesses and users alike has been substantial based on the Facebook live statistics.
4. 25% of Users Watch Live Videos in Order to Stay Informed.
We’re going to get into all of the most pertinent Facebook live video statistics in the coming sections, so let’s take this opportunity to examine why people like to watch live videos. A quarter of users identified that they use live videos to be in the know with current events and news.
20% of users wanted to feel that they’re a part of an event of community, and 17% of users identified that they connect with the broadcasters and that it adds authenticity and relevance to video content that in-feed videos sometimes lack.
All About Facebook Live
The following five Facebook live statistics dig into the usage and quantity of FB live videos out there. Let’s see how things are faring for the social media giant.
5. The Facebook Live Video View Count Surpassed 2 Billion Viewers Last Year.
Fidji Simo, the Head of the Facebook app, released some interesting information about how Facebook live has taken shape on the platform. She gave insight into the view count of Facebook live broadcasts, indicating that roughly 2 billion people have watched Facebook live between 2016 and 2018.
This is a good overall indicator of how Facebook live has grown, but more insight would have been nice in terms of the Facebook live daily active users.
The post celebrated two years since Facebook live was launched, and showed us more or less the DAU count of the feature. It appears that hundreds of millions of users tune into Facebook live daily.
6. Facebook Live Broadcasts Reached 3.5 Billion in 2018. in 2020, It Marked 8.5 Billion.
Simo also discussed the amount of Facebook live broadcasts, celebrating the fact that the number of broadcasts have doubled year over year, with 3.5 billion broadcasts in 2018. This is a huge figure— almost half of the world’s total population.
If we assume that Facebook live users publish live videos every single day for two years. That means there would be 4.7 million daily Facebook live videos needed in order to reach the 3.5 billion metric. No matter how you spin it, Facebook live is a notable feature.
There were also billions of reactions on FB live broadcasts between 2016 and 2018— 150 billion to be exact.
With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook released a statement that noted viewership of Facebook live as increasing, with more than 8.5 billion broadcasts on Facebook live. Wow!
7. The Daily Watch Time for Facebook Live Broadcasts Was Four Times Higher in Just One Year.
Showing the power of new features on social media and how willing people are to embrace them, Facebook live viewers and broadcasts have been steadily increasing. People aren’t simply looking at in-feed videos anymore— they want it in real time.
Live and pre-recorded video popularity has skyrocketed on social media, which means that your content strategy truly isn’t rich enough if you haven’t turned your focus to the highly popular content format.
A Livestream survey showed just how attractive live video broadcasts are. If brands and businesses are trying to reach their target audience, they should keep in mind that Facebook live statistics show users prefer live video content formats. 80% of respondents shared that they prefer live videos to blogs, and 82% of them said they prefer live video over social media posts.
Keeping these stats in mind, it’s no surprise that Facebook live has grown over the past years, and that social media live streaming in general is on the rise.
8. In 2017, 1 out Of Every 5 Facebook Videos Was a Live Broadcast.
Facebook live was launched in 2016 with an almost immediate reception from its user base. This is demonstrated by the rate of live videos being posted to the platform— just one year after the feature launched, in 2017, Facebook live videos made up one-fifth of the total video viewership. 20% of all videos on the platform were Facebook live videos.
9. The Best-Performing Facebook Live Videos Are Between 15-20 Minutes in Length.
After analysis of 100 million Facebook live videos by Buzz Sumo, it was clear that engagement rates of live videos on Facebook were higher after 15 minutes of the video. Once the video passed the 15 minute point, no notable shifts in engagement were found until roughly 20 minutes.
That indicates that the ideal time of a live broadcast on Facebook sits between 15-20 minutes if you want to maximize engagement and watch time. The potential for more engagement on Facebook live videos is already heightened, so use the time wisely to make connections with your viewers and develop a strong relationship.
Facebook Live Compared to Traditional Videos
Let’s take a look at how Facebook live videos compare to traditional pre-recorded videos posted to the platform. Is Facebook live effective? Based on Facebook live statistics, the answer is yes. We are going to dive into the stats that help to show the difference between Facebook live and regular FB videos. Let’s get into it.
10. 10 Times More Comments Are Left on Facebook Live Videos in Comparison to Regular Videos.
One of the most important things on Facebook in terms of the algorithm is meaningful engagement— likes are still great, but they are more passive than other substantial engagements, including comments, shares, and reactions. Facebook live statistics show that the video format attracts a high number of comments, reaching 10x the number of regular videos.
Viewers post a comment during the live video session, which increases the chances that the video broadcaster will respond to them and see them in real time. This motivates viewers to be more active and engaged during the broadcast, which is why users find live videos more attractive for leaving comments.
The Facebook live experience is more dynamic and interactive, having an active presence from not only the broadcaster but also viewers of the video. Sharing, commenting, and watching live content is very appealing to many users on Facebook and other platforms.
11. Facebook Live Users Spend More Time Watching Live Videos Over Uploaded Ones— Three Times More.
Another thing you should consider when creating your content strategy is that Facebook live videos gain more watch time than regular videos. According to Facebook live statistics, the typical watch time is 3x more on live videos than traditional videos in-feed.
One big reason is that everything is happening in real time, which means there’s no option to fast forward the video. If the FB live video is engaging and interesting, viewers are likely to continue actively viewing and interacting until it’s over.
What’s more, live videos have comments rolling in by the second, and if you’re one of the users who is interacting and creating conversations in the live video, it’s unlikely that you’re going to leave the video until you’ve seen what others have to say.
12. Facebook Live Videos Get 6x as Much Interaction as Regular Videos.
The interaction rates for Facebook live videos is higher, as we’ve seen in previous sections. The interaction rates are higher when compared to traditional videos. The whole purpose of Facebook live videos is to communicate with one another in real time, which prompts more active conversations and reactions during the stream.
Live videos are so intriguing to users because there’s a level of connection and relatability that pre-recorded videos simply don’t offer. Your viewers get the chance to see something that’s happening moment to moment, that no one else has seen before.
The comments and reactions show that the user is there and registers their presence as an active part of the video stream, which is what users love about the format.
Facebook Live Usage Statistics
Here is some insight into Facebook live statistics that show just how users have adapted to the format and the general consensus about how effective Facebook live really is.
14. One Third of Video Marketers Have Used Facebook Live This Year.
In 2019, a study identified that 35% of video marketers focused efforts on Facebook live. Compared to 2018 results, there was a 1 point increase in FB live usage from video marketers.
While this is good, Facebook live statistics indicate that the numbers could be better. The percentage of professional marketers who used Facebook live videos successfully for marketing and sales dropped from 81% to 74%.
In 2017, 37% of video marketers indicated they’d be using Facebook live in the future, but in 2018, that percentage was down by one point.
15. 91% of Businesses Used Facebook Live in 2018.
Facebook Live is the most commonly-listed platform for live video viewing, and 91% of businesses used the feature in 2018 alone. As live video became more popular on all social media platforms, Livestream has noted that 78% of all internet users also watch Facebook live videos.
The good thing about Facebook is that it reaches a huge range of users and diverse target audience groups; even still, the largest live streaming global platform is currently Twitch. According to StreamElements, the platform boasts a market share of 73%.
In 2020, over 4.74 billion hours were watched on Twitch, which surpassed YouTube Gaming live, Facebook live, and Mixer. The audience is typically geared towards gaming, so it does limit who you can reach depending on your target audience. Facebook offers a wider reach in terms of type of users.
16. Facebook Live Views Increased by 50% Between February and March of 2020.
Facebook itself indicated in 2020 that the number of Facebook live viewers in the United States increased by roughly 50%. According to CNET, this was likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire of users to access more video content on social media networks. Fidji Simo confirmed this and discussed the evolving nature of Facebook and video consumption.
Facebook, therefore, is likely to continue to expand its efforts in providing users with a way to safely connect and communicate, with efforts driven towards features that allow for social distancing and virtual engagement, including features like Facebook events and Facebook Marketplace.
17. 24% of Businesses Feel that Live Videos Are Very Effective.
In terms of Facebook live metrics, there are plenty of ways for business Facebook users to understand how their live video and other content formats perform. This information can be seen in the Post Details section so that broadcasters can understand what their videos are doing for their reach, engagement, and more.
Even still, 29% of businesses feel uncertainty in how effective Facebook live video truly is. Regardless, many users do understand the value that Facebook live streaming has brought to their platform, and 24% of users described the feature as being very effective.
36% of businesses agree that their FB live video marketing strategies have been somewhat effective.
18. Facebook Live Statistics Show that 76% of Broadcasters Use Facebook for Streaming Live Events.
Wowza’s recent survey showed that live events are the most common type of Facebook live video content among those who broadcast— 76% of broadcasters use the feature for this type of content.
Conference panels and Q&A-style videos were also equally used at 23%; the feature was also used for breaking news at 20%.
The least-used type of Facebook live video content was how-to videos, with only 10% of broadcasters using the feature for this type of content.
19. 1% of Companies Share Daily Live Videos.
In 2018, according to Facebook live statistics, only 1% of businesses shared Facebook Live videos on a daily basis. A majority of Facebook live broadcasters, 58%, indicated that their usage of Facebook live video streams was infrequent.
A quarter of the participants in the study said that they shared Facebook live video monthly, and 12% of them indicated weekly usage. 5% of companies said they shared Facebook live videos multiple times every week.
When considering best practices for Facebook live, the platform recommends that users post frequently. That doesn’t mean that you should simply go live randomly just to check the box— your strategy should be well-developed and effectively planned so that you are providing high-quality content to your viewers.
Be creative in what type of content you are putting out, and consider the different types of live videos we mentioned in point 18: Q&As, event sharing, broadcasts with other collaborators, how-to videos, breaking news and product launches, and more.
20. 90% of Users Consider Video Quality the Most Important Element of Facebook Live.
Another thing about Facebook live usage is that viewers want to see something that provides value and meets their needs. One of the biggest influences in whether or not a viewer tuned into a Facebook live video was the quality.
90% of users on Facebook find video quality to be one of the most essential elements from the broadcaster. This means you shouldn’t go live if you don’t have everything properly set up and ready to go— it can have a negative impact on your reputation and future viewership if the quality is low.
Configure your live video settings based on Facebook’s guidelines; different resolutions are supported by the platform, with the maximum resolution being 720p at 30 frames/second.
21. Facebook Live Popularity Increased by 330% in Search.
After Facebook live launched in April of 2016, people were interested, and search results provide it. In 2015, the feature was still exclusive to public figures only, which means that people weren’t as interested because they didn’t have the option to participate fully.
Once it was opened up to everyone, people were searching for it left and right. The desire to understand the feature and see just how it could be implemented in content strategy led to a 330% increase after FB live was open to all users.
From tech requirements to best practices, people were searching for it all.
Facebook Live Stats: 2021 Benchmarks
Here are some of the most notable Facebook live statistics in terms of benchmarks in 2021.
22. Facebook Live Videos Have an Average of 101,362 Engagements.
As we’ve mentioned in other Facebook live statistics, engagements and interactions are huge. Based on the number of engagements they receive on average, live Facebook videos rank third, with a figure currently sitting at 101,362 engagements.
Traditional videos still top out live videos, with about 42% more than Facebook live videos. This could simply be based on the volume— there are more traditional videos on Facebook than live videos.
Compared to image-based posts, Facebook live videos come in very close, with only 12% less engagements than traditional image posts in Facebook news feeds.
23. The Average Number of Shares for Facebook Live Videos Is 11,314.
This is one of the notable weak spots of Facebook live statistics, with most other post types maintaining a strong lead in terms of the number of shares. Non-live videos is the top-performing type of Facebook post in general and on average has over 54k shares on the platform.
According to most recent Facebook live statistics, live video only gets one-fifth of that amount, coming in with an average share count of 11,314. This isn’t terribly surprising considering the fact that people engage with live video at the moment; when live videos are over, people are less likely to share them.
24. The Top 10,000 Fb Posts Are Composed of Less than 1% Facebook Live Videos.
In a 2019 study that analyzed the top 10,000 Facebook posts, many types of content formats were compared to see which formats came out on top. Roughly 40% of the top 10k Facebook videos were native videos (more on that later), and 47% of the posts were images, as reported by Facebook live statistics from the study.
Facebook live videos were notably absent, composing only 0.74% of all the top posts on the platform. The only format that came in below Facebook live was embedded video with only 0.18%.
25. Facebook Live Videos Get 165% More Comments than Traditional In-Feed Videos.
Even though the top type of content formats stick closer to in-feed posts and videos, Facebook live gains more comments than regular posts on Facebook. The great news is that Facebook live statistics show live videos get an average of 28, 239 comments. Pre-recorded videos get about 1.5x less than that, at roughly 10,652 comments. Images get even less, ranking lowest with about 5,119.
Facebook watch is the platform’s video streaming service, and this is what replaced the Facebook live map feature. While the two are very different, with the popularity of streaming sites on a global scale, it was only a matter of time before Facebook implemented their own.
26. There Are Over 1.25 Billion Monthly Active Users on Facebook Watch
Facebook Watch is the video hub that lets you discover all different types of videos across the Facebook platform. This includes live events, shows, news, music videos, sports, and more.
According to Facebook itself, 1.25 billion people visit the Facebook Watch tab every month, which is just about half of the total Facebook user count.
That means that all types of video content has a great place for exposure where posts won’t be included. The feature was launched in 2018; at the end of the year, it had about 400 million monthly active users. The Facebook Watch tab is a great success and allows all sorts of Facebook video to get exposure.
Facebook Native Videos
You may not have heard this term before; a Facebook native video is basically a fancy title for thevideos that are posted and available to users in their Facebook feed. These are videos that are directly uploaded to Facebook instead of sourced out from other websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, etc.
Native Facebook videos are a big deal, and you’ll see that almost all Facebook video content is native, and that includes Facebook live.
27. Native Facebook Videos Make up 92% of All Videos on The Platform.
Native videos include regular videos as well as Live videos and stories, and they are favored over. A study of 7.5 million Facebook posts indicated that 92% of Facebook users took advantage of the platform’s native video formats over outsourced ones.
A quarter of Facebook accounts studied were identified as using YouTube videos on Facebook, and Vimeo came in with only 1%. 6% of accounts used various other video formats that included other social media networks or websites.
Most-Viewed Facebook Live Video
So, what’s the most viewed Facebook Live video to date? Here we’ll give you a fun piece of trivia to show just how powerful the feature can be if you strike it rich and go viral.
28. Chewbacca Mom: 179 million views
In 2016, 37-year-old Candace Payne achieved the milestone of the most-viewed Facebook live video. She purchased a Chewbacca mask and live-streamed the event. She put the mask on and the tremendous amount of laughter and joy she exuded in the video captivated audiences around the globe. The video had over 50k views within the hour, and after 3 days, it sat at a pretty 78 million views.
Today, it remains one of the most-watched Facebook videos of all time, with 179 million views.
Bonus Facebook Live Statistics
29. 85% of Facebook Live Videos Are Watched with The Sound Off.
Even though there are tons of ways to implement great sound effects, music, and dialogue in your videos, the majority of users who watch video content on social media prefer to do so with the sound off. Facebook Live statistics show the same trend carries over to the content format, with 85% of users watching live videos with no sound.
Some of the reasons for this are:
- Users watch in a quiet place
- Users were multitasking or doing other things
- Users didn’t have headphones
This is very important to keep in mind— when possible, make sure that your videos are captioned so that users can follow along with what you’re saying and still participate even if they prefer to keep their sound off. Don’t exclude these users as they can be a valuable contribution to your view count and engagement levels.
30. Half of All Online Us Users Watch a Facebook Live Video Stream Weekly.
The Magid research consultancy group provided a variety of Facebook live statistics, one of which indicated that a huge portion of US Facebook users participate in watching FB live content.
49% of users watch a live streaming video on Facebook according to the research, and 44% watch one on YouTube.
Final Thoughts: The Future of Facebook Live
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on everyone’s lives and called on digital media companies to provide users with more ways to connect remotely, this is likely how Facebook will continue to expand, and that was confirmed by Simo herself.
Facebook live is likely to continue to expand as well, offering features that allow broadcasters to tag products and provide users the chance to buy products right from within Instagram live. Facebook and Instagram consistently evolve to help not only users have a personalized experience, but also to facilitate business and revenue generation through different features on the platform.
Stay up-to-date by checking out the Facebook blog regularly.
The Facebook live statistics that we’ve discovered today show that the feature is a beloved type of content format for both users and businesses alike. With billions of monthly users and almost 9 billion total FB live broadcasts, there are tons of opportunities.
The Facebook watch tab has also opened doors to more exposure and the chances that users will discover your live video content there. If you haven’t already, plan out a Facebook live video— you can do a Q&A, behind the scenes, how-to, broadcast an event, and much more.
Video content is imperative in any social media content strategy, so don’t miss the mark and expand your use of video today. That goes for not only Facebook, but also Instagram.
Looking to reach more users in your target audience and grow your Instagram followers? You need eyes on your video content, after all. Check out Thunderclap and see just how we can help you reach more people organically on Instagram!