Facebook Media

14 Million People Watched The Trump Tower Climber on Facebook Live

By Beth Loyd, News Partnerships and Peter Roybal, Product Manager

On August 10th, more than 80 news organizations used Facebook Live to cover the breaking news that a climber was scaling the side of New York City’s 58-story Trump Tower.

In addition to the volume of Facebook Live videos themselves, the number of viewers watching the story unfold in real-time was also high. 14 million unique people around the world watched the climb live on Facebook, and 2.5 million unique viewers in the U.S. watched at least one minute of the 80+ live broadcasts. While the majority of the Facebook Live viewers were in the U.S., there were many watching from around the world as well. Other top countries with viewers tuning-in included: United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Australia, and Germany.

The media outlets that turned to Facebook Live to share the breaking news included CNN, ABC7NY, Fox News, BuzzFeed, NowThis, ABC News, Yahoo News, Univision, and Business Insider, many of which used the Live API to stream the event.

The most-viewed live broadcast of the event on Facebook came from CNN; their Facebook Live of the ascent was watched by nearly 4.7 million viewers while live, a record for both the network and Facebook.


“CNN’s Facebook Live feed of the climber was a tremendous success,” said CNN’s Head of Social News, Samantha Barry. “Our customized experience for the Facebook platform provided our audience with a raw, unnarrated feed, and the opportunity to interact with the community around the story. The record-breaking number of users engaged with one another in the comments section, and CNN joined in to provide the context and reporting users were looking for.”

The CNN live video to-date has been shared more than 54,000 times, with more than 185,000 reactions and 237,000 comments.