My Facebook F8 Wishlist

Unlike most tech companies who go dark in the weeks leading up to major conferences with announcements, Facebook has flipped the script with a string of product updates over the past few weeks. While most headlines yesterday were about the consumer facing changes made to Facebook Live, later in the day they released something that’s been at the top of any data junkies wish list – metrics for live video . To date it’s been impossible to discern live video views from on-demand views beyond taking screenshots of the number of viewers throughout the broadcast. Giving publishers access to the Live Broadcast Audience and Viewers During Live Broadcast just increased their ability to justify the additional effort of live video. With five days to go until Facebook F8 here’s the rest of my wishlist:

  • More Metrics – Two weeks ago Facebook released video views broken down by day, I want this for all post types now. Let’s get more granular than a single day while we’re at it so I can see exactly when a video starts to take off. Segmentation of audience by post type would be helpful to see if those videos really are being consumed by millenials like most assume. Please add Instagram metrics into Business Manager too. When the algorithm change hits, organic performance will be integral to understand just how much money so shift into paid performance.
  • Paid Live – With lots of brands jumping on board for #24Live I also saw a lot of sponsored live video posts, but hours after they were already over. With everyone getting into the live game, give the option to pay up front to reach a bigger audience while broadcasting.
  • External Camera – It’s been fun going live on an iPhone and I’m sure lots of 3rd party case and mount manufacturers have benefited from everyone wanting to get their phones on a rig. Why the divide though? Let publishers that have access to high-end cameras, switchers, lighting, etc go live with their existing equipment. The crew over at TV Rev already predicted this will happen, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
  • On Screen Comments – It can be entertaining to watch a celebrity rattle off names as they fly by in the (really tiny) comments section below the video. It would be even better if a host could click a comment, have that show up in the video feed, and pause the comments as they give an in depth answer to a question. Better yet, once Facebook lets you broadcast from a desktop with an external camera, have them integrate with a Social TV service like Telescope, Spredfast or Tagboard for even more interactivity.
  • Big Content Partnership – Why did Twitter win the rights to stream NFL Thursday night football? Reports say it’s valued at less than $10 million. My hope is that Facebook gave it up for something even bigger. Possibly another sports league. Maybe something big with Major League Gaming or another eSports federation? It could also be that they are just placing a lot of small bets with the initiative to pay publishers for live streams. Either way I want to see a big name up on stage during the keynote.