Livestreaming Platforms: Our Comparison
back to Our thinking

Livestreaming Platforms: Our Comparison

Movement Strategy

Nov 18, 2022 10 minutes read

So you want to host a social livestream for your brand?

Fortunately, nearly every social platform has a Live option now!

But unfortunately, nearly every platform has a Live option now…which means it’s increasingly difficult to decide which one to choose.

Now, let’s compare how each platform’s Live features stack up against each other.

Instagram Live

Maximum Length: 4 hours

Speakers allowed: Live Rooms allow 4 people

Monetization Option: Badges

Image: Search Engine Journal

 

Pros:

  • When the Live is in progress, a direct link appears at the front of your followers’ Stories and replays remain there for 24 hours.
  • Followers receive a notification alert when an account they follow has gone Live. 

Cons:

  • Lives are only visible through mobile devices.
  • Only the video can be saved, not chat comments or likes. 

Facebook Live

Maximum Length: 8 hours

Speakers allowed: 3 at a time

Monetization: In-stream ads

Image: Social Media Examiner

 

Pros:

  • Live videos remain on the feed and Video sections, allowing you to Boost videos to increase reach after they’ve aired. 
  • You can easily broadcast via mobile device or desktop and you watch on either.

Cons:

  • No context indexing, meaning you can’t search for Live videos on search engines and you can’t utilize SEO. 
  • If your goal is to engage a younger audience, you likely won’t find them on Facebook.

 

TikTok Live

Maximum Length: 1 hour

Speakers allowed: 3 at a time

Monetization: Gifts

Image: Later.com

 

Pros:

  • Your Live could show up on anyone’s FYP, not just your followers, which expands your reach.
  • Because TikTok audiences don’t like videos that feel “too produced”, you can create a successful TikTok Live on a very small budget.

Cons:

  • Only Creators can go Live and your account must have at least 1,000 followers. 
  • Some keywords are censored on TikTok like “donation” and “follow” so be very careful with how you title the name of your stream. 

 

YouTube Live

Maximum Length: No limit, but in order to archive, needs to be less than 12 hours

Speakers allowed: 2+

Monetization: Ads, Superchat, Super Stickers, and Channel Memberships ;

Image: SproutSpecial.com

 

Pros:

  • High SEO and searchability options (thanks to their parent company, Google!)
  • Your livestream can be paused while it’s running.
  • YouTube’s algorithm favors live videos.
  • Highlights allow you to take short snippets and turn them into standalone videos for your channel (If you haven’t yet created a brand channel, here’s a few reasons why you should!

Cons:

  • You’ll need a verified YouTube account to stream for a desktop, or 1,000 subscribers to stream from a mobile device
  • Due to being a highly blocked website, global audiences may have a hard time watching.

Our analysis: 

In 2022, most platforms have the same technical capabilities to pull off a successful live, aside from a few standouts (i.e. Instagram Lives can only be viewed on mobile), they’re all pretty even. And though every platform has their own benefits, there are a few factors your brand should keep in mind before making a decision.

For instance, if you’re angling for a wider reach beyond your own followers, TikTok and YouTube have that capability.

But if you’re looking to only engage your existing audience, Facebook and Instagram are stronger because they alert your followers directly (Instagram) and the algorithm favors Live videos (Facebook). 

In this article, we only stuck to video livestreams, however if you’re curious about which audio-only space is best for your brand, check out our article on Clubhouse vs. Twitter Spaces.

WANT TO TEAM UP?Get In Touch.

We’re ready when you are.

contact us
follow us on instagram #movementstrategy