X

Facebook Live marks 3.5 billion broadcasts on its 2nd birthday

Almost 2 billion people have watched a Facebook Live broadcast since it launched two years ago. That's basically everybody who uses Facebook regularly.

JoanSolsmanHS2013urbanoutdoorSmilingSQUAREspinner.jpg
JoanSolsmanHS2013urbanoutdoorSmilingSQUAREspinner.jpg
Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
facebook-live-video-3.jpg

Facebook Live launched widely on the social network two years ago. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Facebook Live has racked up 3.5 billion broadcasts by hundreds of millions of people since it launched two years ago, Facebook's head of video said Friday. 

And nearly 2 billion people have watched a live broadcast, which is basically everybody who uses Facebook regularly. (The company's latest figure is that 2.14 billion people check Facebook at least once a month.)  And the average number of daily broadcasts in the past year has more than doubled the average in Facebook Live's first year. 

0404-facebookdatascandel-18n
Watch this: Millions more affected in Facebook data grab

Fidji Simo, the company's head of video, shared the stats in a profile post Friday, in what may be an annual tradition of looking back on the Facebook Live product to mark its anniversary of becoming a widely available feature. Facebook made live streams available to public figures before the product was widened to all its users two years ago. 

fidji-simo-facebook

Fidji Simo is Facebook's head of video. 

Facebook

"Through Live, we learned how truly social the video experience on Facebook can be, generating 6x more interactions than regular video," she wrote. 

Over the last two years, Facebook has prioritized video -- and particularly live video -- in its algorithm recipe for the top of your News Feed. But Facebook Live has had its problems. The social network offers a nearly unrivaled audience, but as it makes its broadcasting tools more accessible, scenes of violence have also grown more common.

Simo said Friday that the company has "learned some tough lessons."

"The immediacy of Live brings unique challenges, and we have committed to improving how we handle them," she said. "We have made significant progress over the past year: we're reviewing live video more quickly, more thoroughly, and more accurately. But our work here is not done, and we'll continue to do more to protect our community."

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

Apple: See what's up with the tech giant as it readies new iPhones and more.