Video is an important part of every artist’s tool box these days. While many prefer to stay within the confines of produced videos uploaded to YouTube or Facebook, live streaming video can be extremely effective as well. Google Hangouts and Facebook Live have been the predominant ways to broadcast to fans and followers, but Facebook has now introduced an alternative with Messenger Video Chat.
Video Chat is similar to Google Hangouts in that you can interact with others that are streaming on the same call. It beats Hangouts though, in that up to 50 people can stream both video and audio simultaneously (Hangouts is limited to 10, as is Skype). The limitation (although it may not be if you’re using it for promotion) is that after 1o people, Messenger will display only the dominant speaker’s feed.
There are other alternatives to Messenger Video Chat. Both Slack and Snapchat also introduced this same feature recently. The difference is that pretty much everyone is on Facebook, so it’s as universal as you’d want if you need to get your message out.
Live streaming can be an easy alternative to produced videos when it comes to promotion from the standpoint of ease of use and timeliness. As with everything social, consistency is important, and if fans and followers expect a video at a certain time, sometimes the only way to deliver is with a live stream. Not only that, it’s the perfect tool to be able to broadcast from events like gigs, backstage, release parties, in-store signings, and just about anything else that you can think of.
While video chatting, Messenger’s other functions still operate, which means you can still send texts, stickers, and other animations while video and audio are transmitting. iOS also has one additional exclusive feature called Live Masks, which is similar to Snapchat filters that animate a visual overlay over your face in real time, Facebook’s live masks tale this a step further and allow the user to overlay animation to the live video chat. The feature should also be arriving on Android soon.
Give it a try and let us know how it works out.