What really makes television what it is? Is it the fact that it’s sitting in some dedicated space in your living room? Or is it the fact that it’s probably one of the larger monitors in your apartment or house? Maybe it’s not connected to a computer, and that’s what makes it a television (although they’ll all soon be computers). Whatever it is, Facebook is going head on with television not only through their new Brand Lift service but also through their numerous Ustream partnerships lately.
I’ve written numerous times about how social networks have rapidly become the new television in regards to their ability to attract our attention. With all the consumer attention focused on social networks, they must be a great way to attract millions of viewers right? KatalystHQ, the short video series produced by Ashton Kutcher’s production firm and distributed by Slide, recently announced that they had received over 9 million unique users since February.
It’s an impressive feat and now Ustream is looking to capitalize on all the attention with their new live stream Facebook program. Numerous brands have partnered with the company to do streaming video. One of the largest streams I’ve seen to date was the Techcrunch 50 however numerous others like Matisyahu, Lance Armstrong, Reba McEntire, and many others have used the service.
Facebook also streamed a developer garage where Mark Zuckerberg was speaking as well as Sheryl Sandberg’s recent keynote at Advertising week. While the communications department behind many of these companies are hailing the implementations as new “Facebook applications”, many, like Jesse Stay, have noticed that their nothing more than Facebook’s stream with Ustream off to the side (or comparable embeddable video products).
While there are numerous ways to integrate live video events on Facebook, it’s clear that Ustream is pushing hard to be the default platform to integrate with. While it’s difficult to claim that social networks (and Facebook in particular) have become a replacement for television, live video content can now come from anywhere on the web and that’s most taking away plenty of eyeballs from T.V.