Oct 2, 2018 - Technology

Social media platforms lose the allure of live streaming

A Facebook livestream.

Facebook livestream of New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Last year, Facebook and Twitter touted the millions of views that the James Comey hearing racked up on their live platforms.

The big picture: Facebook said videos related to the testimony garnered 89 million views. Twitter said 2.7 million people watched it through its co-branded livestream with Bloomberg, its exclusive news partner.

Eighteen months later, neither company has reported live viewing numbers for the Kavanaugh hearings.

  • Facebook says it's not releasing a number this time. Twitter says it's because the technology has become ubiquitous. "Every news outlet is streaming live during every major event so we’re not releasing numbers anymore," says a Twitter spokesperson.

The bottom line: There's still no good way to measure how many people actually watched the hearing (or any major live event for that matter) without some sort of cross-platform video standard. But we do know that viewers expect to see live feeds of any major national events on their phones. It's the new normal.

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