April 11, 2017Published by: Fereshta Amir

Periscope rolls out custom hearts for brands & one in five videos on Facebook is now Live

This time last year, the Facebook empire launched Live in response to the then growing popularity of Meerkat and Periscope. Fast forward to 2017 and Facebook Live is still going strong. In fact, last week the social giant announced that one in every five Facebook videos is now a live broadcast.

Over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than four times, as Facebook quietly focused on making the Live experience more engaging with live masks and new creative effects. It also built features to give publishers more control and flexibility over their broadcasts and as a cherry on top, rolled out new formats like Live 360 and Live Audio.

Periscope wasn't snoozing while all this happened, as Twitter just announced that it will let brands make their own ‘custom hearts’ for Periscope, in a bid to create a new way for brands to engage fans through live video. These customisations can be used alone or combined with pre-roll ads in brand sponsorships of broadcasts. The first campaign to feature custom hearts has already gone live; NBC Universal used its own graphics in marketing its new movie The Fate of the Furious, which had its own F8 custom heart for fans to tap on during a live Periscope.

The new custom hearts can be seen alongside the usual multi-coloured hearts, which means users could tap either one of them, giving brands the option to compare engagement metrics. Much like Snapchat’s sponsored lenses, the customised hearts are to be designed by Twitter in partnership with brands before ever going live. As TechCrunch reports, Twitter had some trouble with giving brands free reign in submitting custom campaigns before, which probably explains its decision:

“Twitter won’t have to vet and approve submissions – an area where it got into trouble before, during the U.S. presidential campaigns. At that time, the company came under fire for rejecting a custom hashtag campaign for the tag #CrookedHillary that included a stick figure emoji running with a bag of cash. Twitter explained its decision then as not wanting to confuse users who may have thought the ad represented Twitter’s own political viewpoint. It then decided not to run sponsored hashtag emojis for political campaigns in the future.” Sarah Perez, TechCrunch.

Fair enough! It’s not yet known how much Twitter's custom hearts cost, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more on that. Watch this space.

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