Going Facebook Live Part 1, Video Hits from the Early Days


Hard to believe but it's only been since August 2015 that Facebook live began, with limited availability to celebrities, including comedian Ricky Gervais, who had an early hit, before everyone could become broadcasters of a moment, of their life, from applied citizen journalists, to journalist wannabees, to professional journalists trying to keep up.

1. Ricky Gervais from His Bath

As with everything, if you are already a public figure, and to boot a great on-camera performer, you have a solid base to begin with, even if it's ridiculous, but sometimes a laugh can go a long way.



2. Buzzfeed and the Exploding Watermelon

In April 2016, Buzzfeed went viral by exploding a watermelon with elastics. Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes ..... It explained the phenomenon here. Not knowing when exactly or how something will finish is a key ingredient to Facebook Live success.



3. The Chewbacca Mom

The success of Chewbacca Mom also led to backlash and racial comparisons to the "on fleek" phrasemaker. You be the judge.



4. CNN and Climbing Trump Tower

Someone going up Trump Tower did well for many news organizations, including CNN. Again the element of suspense, not knowing how something will finish, a la crazy car chase, where commentary/comments are part of the fun, and the quality of the video isn't that important, is part of the appeal.



5. Weathercasters and Oncoming Storms

Any process video does well, behind the scenes, minor celebrities, and combining it with the possibility of an oncoming blizzard can also make a Facebook Live video successful, even if not shot very well at all.



6. AJ + and the Protest Video

Play by play works well on a developing, unclear situation with potential for havoc. It's almost like being there and experiencing the thrill or feeling a part of the protest or counter-protest, since you can also comment away.



7. NYTimes and Recounting the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

An earnest, no frills, very heartfelt and genuine recounting of a tragic mass shooting was an early hit for the New York Times.



8. Huffington Post and Trying to Find a Mother's Ashes

This works because there is a search, process as it happens journalism, and it's a story with a possible happy ending, amid despair. It personalizes and takes the viewer on a micro-story within the bigger picture of the flooding.



9. NPR and the Music Stream

Concert streams from festivals seem to do well or even from small gigs or band practices, especially if the audio is clean, as with any video, unless there's plenty of text to go on silent, audio can still reign supreme.



10. Most Recent Kid on the Block: Facebook 360 Live

In December, 2016, NatGeo was given the early reins on that, for whatever it's worth.


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