What Are the Easiest Video Live Streaming Services?

By Jack SteinLast Updated Nov 5, 2020 12:26:07 AM ET
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Whether it’s because you live in a small town with few chances for exposure or there’s a global pandemic keeping everyone indoors, there are plenty of reasons why it might not be possible to reach all the people you’d like, whether it’s for a service you offer, self-promotion or anything else. With modern technology, however, you don’t need to speak with people in person to pursue your goals and dreams. Live streaming means that anyone can have a platform for sharing their voice with the world — as long as they have something unique and worthwhile to say.

For those who want to try out live streaming to broadcast an event or activity online, the following are among easiest video live streaming services that will set you on the right path.

Facebook Live

When it comes to convenience, Facebook Live is an obvious choice for live streaming. Not only does it come with a potential audience of millions of people, but you’re probably already familiar with the base Facebook website. To use and launch Facebook Live, all you need is a Facebook account or the app if you're using a smartphone. You'll also need a webcam if you are going to live stream with a laptop or a personal computer.

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Facebook Live gives you a taste of being a live streamer without having to require you to beef up your device's hardware or have an understanding of rendering videos. Once you go live, you already have a ready audience in the form of your friends and any followers of your Facebook posts. Facebook Live also lets you stream to Facebook users apart from your list of friends and followers by tweaking your privacy settings to make your stream visible to the public.

Between its simplicity and the ability to view real-time reports on things like peak live viewers, average audience time spent watching and more, the advantages of Facebook Live are clear. Be aware, however, that as with many live streaming services, hostile audience members can disrupt your stream through comments that are visible to everyone else.

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YouTube Live

YouTube Live is part of a brand that has long been synonymous with video sharing online, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone unfamiliar with the original YouTube website. As with Facebook Live, YouTube Live only requires users to have a YouTube account and app on a smartphone or just a webcam if you’re on a laptop or PC. It also has the same metric reports regarding viewership duration, total view time and viewer playbacks.

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YouTube Live also offers features that are not available on the Facebook app, such as automatic live captions for hearing-impaired audience members. You can also broadcast on a delay in situations where material may turn inappropriate, enable automatic recording, follow conversations even after a stream is over and save broadcasts on your channel to make them available to watch them even after the broadcast.

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Instagram Live

Because Instagram has more than 100 million users in the United States alone, users of Instagram Live have a huge potential audience. You also only need an Instagram account and a smartphone, making it convenient and simple. The only real downside is that there’s no option to go live from PC yet. 

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Instagram Live is unique in the sense that it allows you to use features shared by Instagram in the feed itself, such as the ability to add colors, filters, GIFs and emojis. You can interact with your audience via the chat stream at the bottom of your screen. To keep your comment section wholesome, users have the option of adding filters to the comment section, pin constructive comments at the top of the stream or disable comments altogether.

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There are several caveats for those who are considering Instagram Live to stream videos. however. One is that this live streaming platform works best ― and often only ― in portrait view. Videos that you want to broadcast on Instagram Live also have to be recorded on a smartphone and can't be copied from other devices.