By now, you probably know that live video is taking over social media. It was one of the largest trends of 2016 and will continue to grow, at least until the next trend takes hold (which in the world of social could be seven days). To help you wrap your head around the world of live-streaming, we take a look at four platforms you may want to consider. 

  1. Periscope (Twitter Live): If live streaming had a founder it would be Periscope which kickstarted the phenomenon in 2015. Twitter purchased the live stream app and has integrated it into its live video stream offerings, or in plain speak - when you live stream from a tweet on Twitter it's powered by Periscope's technology. Periscope also exists as a stand-alone app where fans can comment and show their love (heart emojis) on live feeds they are viewing. Periscope recently took inspiration from other live streaming services by enabling a replay feature allowing content to live longer. 

  2. Facebook Live: Facebook tends to dominate, and Facebook Live is no different. With the release of Facebook Live, businesses can now authentically connect with their fanbases on the fly with live video.  Facebook gave preferential treatment to live video in the newsfeed, and if that's not enough to tempt you, video from the feed will live on a page, allowing fans to view post-live stream. 

  3. YouTube Live: The king of video, YouTube joined the live mobile streaming family, and claims to make live streaming easy for everyone. Users can "Stream Now" offering an instant stream that starts and stops with a push of a button or select "Events", a stream that allows you to preview before you go live and have a bit more control.  Much like Facebook Live, this video will live on a channel after the streaming session has ended, popping up in fans’ subscription boxes so they can view whenever it's convenient. 

  4. Instagram Live: Newest to live streaming, Instagram incorporated the feature into Instagram Stories. Here, you have the option to either post to a story, or go live on the app. Open it up to see which of your followers are currently live or discover those who you don’t already follow. It's a great discovery tool and way to stand apart from the barrage of pretty food and travel photos.

Whether you’re sharing an event, a grand opening or a new product, going live could be one tactic to use for increasing engagement.  Have you used live streaming? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.