Today, live video streaming has become mainstream, with more and more platforms that offer streaming. Platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have made it easier than ever for anyone with a smartphone to start live streaming. The rise of YouTube Live and Facebook Live has immensely contributed to the growing popularity of live stream content.
Major corporations like Facebook and Google (the owners of YouTube) are going all-in with live streaming video compared to even a year ago. This growing ubiquity represents an opportunity for other businesses too. Live video is an incredibly powerful tool, especially in 2023.
Whether for marketing, sales, training, entertainment, or media, live video is a compelling technology that brings people together. According to Adobe, 41% of internet users globally have watched a live stream. In fact, at least 80% of consumers would rather watch a video than read a blog or social post.
In this article, we’ll look at two of the biggest social media video platforms out there for live video: YouTube Live vs Facebook Live. First, we’ll explore these platforms, their features, and their pros and cons. Then, we’ll look at YouTube Live and Facebook Live alternatives for professionals.
Through this comparison, you’ll discover the best live streaming platform for business. It will be easier to decide on which streaming solutions work best for your business. You’ll understand the difference between Facebook Live vs. YouTube Live, as well as all the other online video platforms you can use for a more professional live streaming experience.
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Table of Contents
- Facebook Live Video Streaming
- YouTube Live Streaming
- Zoom vs. YouTube Live
- Professional Live Streaming Platforms
- Why Use a Professional Live Streaming Video Host?
- A Comparison of Facebook and YouTube Live Alternatives
- LinkedIn Live
- Vimeo Livestream
- JW Player
- Final Thoughts
Facebook Live Video Streaming
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg along with fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes.
As of October 2022, there are roughly 2.95 billion monthly users on Facebook. It launched Facebook Live in 2016 to give users the ability to broadcast live video streams.
When it comes to Facebook live streaming, these videos and their search popularity increased by 330% in just one year.
About Facebook Live Streaming
Facebook Live was released in April 2016 to give people the opportunity to broadcast live to their Facebook friends. While many people didn’t initially fully understand the need for this new feature, businesses that adopted it realized it was a cost-effective video marketing strategy and were able to create more excitement around their products and services.
Many people use Facebook regularly, so sharing and watching live video content is a natural extension of the service. Some Facebook live streams reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Facebook updated its ranking algorithm to show more live videos on people’s news feeds. But, if you missed a live video from a friend or someone’s page that you follow on Facebook, live videos remain on the account’s wall after the Facebook live streaming event has finished.
Many people wonder, “Is Facebook Live free?” The good news is that it is free to use Facebook Live. You can go live from an individual page, from a group page, or within an event.
Upload Guidelines and Specs
Here are the Facebook Live video guideline details:
- Minimum dimension: 720p (1280×720)
- Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920×1080)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16, 2:3, 4:5, 1:1
- Max file size: 4 GB
- Max video length: 90 minutes
- Total file storage: No storage limit
- Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, AVI, 3GPP, WMV, FLV, MKV
How Facebook Live Streaming Works
On mobile devices, starting a live stream involves using the Facebook app. All you have to do is:
1) Open your app
2) Navigate to the top, and click on the LIVE icon right below the status input area labeled “what’s on your mind?”
3) Click on the blue Start Live Video button
Tap that button, and you have the option to start a live stream. You can then give a description of your live video and choose a target audience if you wish. From there, a single tap lets you go live. That is all you need to start live streaming on Facebook.
On a desktop, live streaming via Facebook Live is easy as well.
- Create a post at the top of your news feed to go live.
- Click the 3 dots and then click live video.
- Write a short description of the content of your live video. That way, people know what your video is about.
- Finally, click go live and start recording and broadcasting your content.
Facebook suggests using Google Chrome as your browser in order to go live to avoid any technical issues. As you can see, it is easy to start Facebook live streaming on either a mobile device or a desktop.
If you want to get more technical, you can use a video encoder for Facebook live streaming. Set up your encoder software using the following settings:
- Video bitrate: no higher than 2500 Kbps
- Resolution: no higher than 1280 x 720
- Frames per second: 30
- Select the appropriate video and audio sources
After you set up your encoding software, visit your Facebook page.
- Click on the tab labeled “Publishing Tools.”
- On this page, click the option labeled “Video” and then click “Live.“
- From here, you can enter the “stream key” and/or “stream URL” that generates into your encoder.
- Enter a description on the next page.
- Finally, click “Go Live” to begin streaming.
That is how you use a video encoder for Facebook live streaming.It is a very simple process.
YouTube Live Streaming
Next, we’ll discuss YouTube in the YouTube Live vs Facebook Live debate. This video streaming platform was created in February 2005. The following year Google bought it for $1.65 billion.
YouTube allows users to upload, view, and share digital videos online. While Facebook works to keep people in touch through multiple uploads and content options, YouTube solely focuses on video.
About YouTube Live
YouTube Live is a live streaming service that offers an easy way to reach your audience in real-time. Whether you’re streaming a video game, hosting a live Q&A, or teaching a class, YouTube Live tools will help you manage your stream and interact with viewers in real-time.
As a Facebook Live alternative, the most significant benefit to YouTube Live is that it offers more functionality. The added functionality puts YouTube ahead in the Facebook Live vs. YouTube Live debate.
How YouTube Live Streaming Works
To live stream on YouTube, you need a few things. While YouTube Live offers more than Facebook Live, it is harder to get started.
First, you need a YouTube/Google account. Second, you need to “verify” your account. Note that if you want to embed your stream on an external site, you need to link an approved AdSense account to your YouTube account. In order to live stream on Youtube on a mobile device, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers.
Once you have met these qualifications, there are two ways to get started. “Stream now” is a fast and easy way to begin streaming. This method allows you to use your webcam or another connected camera to start a livestream.
Alternatively, “Events” allow you to pre-schedule a live event, invite people in advance, and set up backup streams. “Events” also enable you to use higher-quality cameras connected to encoders.
Upload Guidelines and Specs
Here are the YouTube Live video guideline details:
- Minimum dimension: 240p (426 x 240)
- Maximum dimension: 4K (3840 x 2160)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9 (adds padding to videos with other aspect ratios)
- Max file size: 128 GB
- Max video length: 12 hours
- Total file storage: No storage limit
- Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MPEG4, FLV, AVI, Web M, WMV, MPEG-PS, 3GPP
YouTube live stream capacity is generous, but you have to meet specific requirements before you can start live streaming.