New Live Tools for Publishers: Persistent Stream Keys, Crossposting and Live Rewind

BY: Matt Labunka, Product Manager, Facebook Live
Date: May 8, 9:30AM ET

Today we are rolling out several new features that are focused on making it easier for publishers to go live on Facebook. These features are aimed at simplifying the broadcasting experience, helping you grow an audience, and giving viewers more flexibility in experiencing your Live videos.

As Facebook Live continues to grow, we’ve seen people and publishers around the world find new and innovative ways to tell incredible stories, interact with their communities, and bring the world closer together. With daily average broadcasts from verified publisher Pages increasing 1.5X over the past year, our team has been focused on building new tools to help broadcasters create Live video experiences for all kinds of audiences.

Simplifying the Broadcast Experience with Persistent Stream Keys

Publishers and creators who frequently use the Live API have requested a more simplified stream setup process, and we’ve rolled out the ability to use a persistent stream key with an encoder when going live on Facebook.

This means if you’re a publisher or creator that goes live regularly, you now only need to send one stream key to production teams, and because a Page’s stream key is permanent, it can be sent in advance of a shoot — making it easier to collaborate across teams and locations for live productions. Broadcasters can also save time by using the same stream key every time they start a new Live video.

For example, gaming creator Darkness429 goes live every weekday at 3PM, and using a persistent stream key has made this easier:

“Streamers want to get their content out to their fans as quickly as possible without having to worry about going down a checklist of things to do, and with Facebook allowing streamers to have a persistent stream key, it gives the streamer the ability to quickly and effortlessly start streaming while also giving them less to worry about before starting their stream.” – Darkness429

Growing your Audience through Live Crossposting

We’ve heard from many of our partners that crossposting helps amplify the reach of pre-recorded videos to audiences across all of their Pages, and now this is possible for live video too. With Live Crossposting, all Pages globally can seamlessly publish a single broadcast across multiple Pages as an original post. We’ve added this functionality to both our Publisher Tools on Pages and the Live API.

In testing this feature with their audiences, World Surf League and Brazilian media network, Multishow, have grown reach and engagement on their broadcasts:

“The Live Crossposting process is really simple and is the perfect solution for us to not only aggregate our views and engagement on live videos, but to also promote our show in Facebook Watch, Surfing Sundays. We crossposted this recent Live video to our main page, a sponsor’s page, and one of our athlete’s pages, and the results were great, with more than 1.5M views, 4,500 Shares and over 538K minutes watched. We love that we can crosspost these videos and tag our other pages in the post. Looking forward to using this feature throughout the season.” – Felipe Marcondes, Social Media Manager, World Surf League

“We broadcast some of the biggest music festivals in the world, and use Facebook Live often to bring audiences into the moment and closer to their favorite comedians, artists and musicians. With Live Crossposting, we’re now able to reach broader audiences who want to engage with the stories and people we’re covering. Recently, we crossposted a Facebook Live interview with singer Pablo Vittar across our Pages and his page as well. We saw 40% more retention on this broadcast than other live videos in the past 90 days, and interactions on the video were 2x more than what we typically see on Live videos.” Jorge Carrasco, Digital Manager, Multishow

To get started with Live Crossposting visit our help article or see the Crossposting section in Publisher Tools.

Giving Viewers New Ways to Experience Live Video with Live Rewind

Finally, we’re starting to test the ability for viewers to rewind Live videos from Pages while they’re live. We’ve heard from viewers that they want be able to rewatch incredible moments or catchup on ones they missed — like a big play in a sports game or a crucial moment during a show — without losing out on the Live experience.

In testing this feature, CrossFit Games said, “Live Rewind is massive for our viewers. They have different points of discovery, want to go back, or miss a key play… It’s huge.” Following testing, we are excited to bring Live Rewind to fans around the world!

We’re excited to introduce these new features, and we look forward to continue growing our platform and building new ways for publishers and viewers to connect.


An Update on Video Retention Metrics

Video creators on Facebook have a range of metrics available to help them understand the reach, engagement, and overall performance of the videos they share. As more publishers and creators are sharing longer videos on our platform, it’s becoming increasingly important to better understand audience retention — the metric that shows how well a video is holding the attention of viewers.

Today we’re introducing improvements to the video retention graph available to Pages in Video Insights. We want to make this visualization more useful for video creators to help them better understand how their audience is consuming their longer videos, so we’re providing new breakdowns and insights.



How Expressen Rolled Out CrowdTangle to Drive Digital Literacy Across Their Business

By Christopher Miles, CrowdTangle Partnerships

What happens when you roll CrowdTangle out to your entire newsroom? Journalists find new stories. Editors build dynamic digital strategies. Product managers come up with new product ideas. Sales teams find new ways to do what they do best. That would be the hope anyways.

At CrowdTangle we’re always asked how people can roll out our tool within their (usually very large) organization. We get it, you’re finding all kinds of cool uses for CrowdTangle and want the rest of your company to do the same.

Dan Edström, development editor of social media at Swedish newspaper Expressen, led a rollout of CrowdTangle to over 150 people, and has tips on how you can do the same.

“Social media is a part of almost every operation in a newsroom today and everyone should at least have access to a tool that will help them with that,” Dan explains.



Best practices and updates on video and monetization

By: Nick Grudin, VP of Media Partnerships & Maria Angelidou-Smith, Product Management Director

We have previously shared that Facebook is prioritizing content that encourages meaningful interactions between people and videos that people seek out and return to regularly. Today we are sharing early best practices on how creators and publishers can align to these priorities while providing detail on some of the updates we are making to help content partners monetize this type of content.

Best practices for shows and videos
An engaged and loyal audience has both a meaningful connection to your content and to fellow viewers. This type of audience has a direct correlation with monetization – as their intent to engage with your video content grows, so too can your monetization opportunities. Some best practices for how to drive this kind of viewing behavior include:



How Condé Nast Built Communities Using Facebook Groups Across Eight Publications

By Simone Oliver, News Partnerships

After Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) published a March 2017 editorial package called Women Who Travel, the publication realized they had an untapped community of readers eager to engage more deeply with this subject. In response, they launched Women Who Travel, a Facebook Group run by CNT for female travel lovers to have conversations in a safe environment. In just a few months, membership ballooned. It’s currently above 56k members — 73% of whom are active in the group on a monthly basis.* “We wanted to explore a new social channel that might be able to bring something different, and develop niche communities,” says Molly McGlew, social media strategist at Condé Nast. “People actively choose to come here for this conversation. It’s so much more supportive and you can actually have dialogue.”

As this test group took off, McGlew and the wider Condé Nast social strategy team helped scale Facebook Groups across eight of Condé Nast’s brands including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Allure, BRIDES, Golf Digest, SELF and Teen Vogue. Each group is built around a niche passion related to the publication that runs it, and serves as a space for people to connect with each other and learn from the expertise of these publications. Groups from Vanity Fair’s Reel Women to The New Yorker Movie Club have become areas where editors, reporters, celebrity guests, and group members can have meaningful dialogue around a topic they’re passionate about. Not only has this helped inform editorial strategies for several publications, but it’s helped build a greater loyalty between group members and Condé Nast publications.

We’ll look at three different groups that Condé Nast runs, find out what their mission is, what kind of content they’re putting into the group or generating from it, and identify some key learnings for other publishers.



Inside The Local News Subscriptions Accelerator: How The Boston Globe Used Cliffhangers to Generate Email Leads

By Joseph Lichterman, Senior Business Associate, The Lenfest Institute

In November 2016, Boston Globe reporter Billy Baker published “The Power of Will,” a five-chapter story about a young boy with cancer and how his father worked tirelessly to try and find a cure.

Each chapter ended in a cliff-hanger, enticing readers to continue with the story. The Globe published all five chapters at once, but only subscribers had immediate access to the full narrative.

Readers who didn’t subscribe to the Globe could only read the first chapter, and the publisher then made subsequent chapters available to non-subscribers over the course of a few days.

There was one way, though, that readers who weren’t subscribers could gain immediate access to the full story: They could give the Globe their email address.



Spotlight on Local News: A Local Swedish Paper Connects Commuters and Affects Change Through Facebook Groups

By John Severinson, News Partnerships

Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), a Swedish paper serving the city of Uppsala, wanted a better way to gain insight into the daily lives of their community. Specifically, they heard rumblings that the highly-touted train system that carries Uppsala’s commuters back and forth to Stockholm each day, had gotten too crowded and was falling behind schedule. The paper wanted to bring this large group of commuters together so they could share their stories with each other, and the paper could use this information to create meaningful journalism for the community.

UNT created the Facebook group “UNT pendlingskollen” (UNT commuter check up), to create a journalistic ecosystem around the daily challenges of the city’s commuters. It’s become a space for the 1,100 members to share real-time updates on train delays, and for UNT to have direct contact with sources. We talked with Jens Pettersson, Managing Editor, about how the group started, and how the journalism that’s come out of the group have led to tangible reforms and real world change for the city’s commuting population.


A Diverse Music Community is a Very Good Thing

By Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, Facebook

Independent artists and labels are an important part of a rich music tapestry. Each of their voices and sounds matter to people. And people matter to Facebook. We are excited to continue partnering with the independent community to build more ways to bring people together through music in user videos and new social features on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger.

Independent labels have been at the forefront of innovation and have embraced new opportunities on our platforms. Today, we are announcing key partnerships with the world’s leading independent companies.


How CrowdTangle Became the Colts’ 12th Man

By Carlin Scrudato, CrowdTangle Partnerships

The Indianapolis Colts demonstrate exactly what it looks like when a club leverages CrowdTangle to its fullest.

Amber Derrow is the Social Media Coordinator for the Colts, and a team of exactly one. What you’ll find below is how CrowdTangle helps her create efficiencies and decrease her workload.

The goal for the Colts during the season was to increase video views on branded content, help its sales and content teams pitch better ideas to advertisers, and track competitors in that space. Since using CrowdTangle’s branded content features, Amber has been able to drive video views, identify other NFL clubs working with specific advertisers (which helped uncover gaps in the Colts’ pitch), and to create automated reports for sales and video teams. Those reports helped those teams sell branded content more effectively in-market.




Inside the Local News Subscriptions Accelerator: How to Optimize Your Website to Drive Subscriptions

By Joseph Lichterman, Senior Business Associate, The Lenfest Institute

Executives from 14 U.S. metro news publishers gathered at Facebook New York on March 28th and 29th to learn and share best practices for building and growing digital subscriptions, as part of the 3-month Facebook Journalism Project: Local News Subscription Accelerator. The first two days focused on foundations like developing performance benchmarks and changing company culture to embrace a customer-revenue model as well as optimizing existing marketing channels.

There’s limited real estate on news organizations’ websites, and there are lots of demands on that space. Calls to action can appear in multiple places on your site, but between the newsroom, advertising, marketing and more, there are competing priorities for how to best utilize those areas to drive digital subscriptions.

Jason Sylva, a former marketing executive at The Financial Times and The New York Times, spoke to participants in the Local News Subscriptions Accelerator and shared some tips for balancing the competing needs while effectively messaging your value proposition to potential subscribers.

There are primarily three types of areas available on your site to market subscriptions, Sylva said:

1. Owned: These are places on the site that are exclusively used for marketing digital subscriptions such as the messaging that pops up when a reader reaches the meter limit or other messaging for how many free stories they have left to read.

The owned interfaces are the most visible and most effective messages for converting subscribers and they should give readers choices and also make clear what you’re selling.

For instance, The New York Times changed its highest level subscription tier from “premium” to “home delivery.” The change in terminology more clearly explained what the Times was offering readers.

The user experience is just as important as the messaging and it’s critical that these interfaces load quickly and are simple to use.

2. Shared: Your external advertising slots are shared real estate, and it’s a constant struggle to figure out how much of that inventory should be dedicated to internal campaigns to promote digital subscriptions.

When it comes to marketing subscriptions in display advertising slots, there’s a lot of competition for user attention. As a result, you need a sharp, coherent message that clearly explains what you’re offering your users.

The easiest way to divvy up the inventory is by choosing a percentage, say 90 percent of the slots could be for ads and 10 percent could go toward marketing. But that’s not the best way, Sylva said.

Instead, it makes more sense to use propensity modeling to target users who are most likely to subscribe. The messaging you show readers could vary based on their location, the meter count, the content they’re reading, and more.

By leveraging as much data as you can, you can most effectively use your platform to market to potential readers.

3. Borrowed: This is space that’s within an article or the newshole that’s used for a call to action to promote subscriptions. There are limitations to the amount of targeting you can do with this type of marketing because the calls to action are often created through the editorial content management system, but the tradeoff is that they are in high-profile locations on your site.

For instance, practically every ESPN The Magazine story that’s posted on ESPN’s website has a short note at the top of the article reminding readers to subscribe:

The New York Times also often has modules on its homepage encouraging readers to subscribe:


These types of editorial-oriented promotions should be focused on the mission of the organization and the importance of good journalism, Sylva said. The owned and shared spaces, meanwhile, are better places to focus on pricing promotions and the cost of subscriptions.

“It should be a subtle reminder to support the work you enjoy,” Sylva said, referring to the borrowed space.

Your own website is the most powerful platform you have for converting digital subscribers, and by taking advantage of the different spaces on your owned and operated platform you can more effectively reach those potential customers.

The Facebook Journalism Project: Local News Subscriptions Accelerator is a pilot program designed to help news publishers build their digital subscription revenues. Funded and organized by The Facebook Journalism Project, the 3-month program includes hands-on workshops led by news industry veteran Tim Griggs, a grantmaking program organized by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and regular reports on best practices authored by both The Lenfest Institute and the Facebook Journalism Project.