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Nearly two billion people have watched Facebook Live broadcasts

Livestreaming on the social network is here to stay despite its flaws.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 6, 2018
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There's no doubt that Facebook Live has grown a lot in the two years since it launched, but by how much? Facebook is eager to share a few stats. The social network has chalked up more than 3.5 billion broadcasts since 2016, with the daily average continuing to double year over year. And crucially, a large chunk of the human population has seen them -- the site claims that nearly 2 billion people have watched Facebook Live broadcasts. When the company achieved 2 billion total monthly users in 2017, the odds are high that you've caught at least one live stream.

The tech giant also noted that broadcasts from verified Pages have jumped 50 percent in the past year, and that "hundreds of millions" of people have gone live.

At the same time, Facebook acknowledged that this rapid growth has involved some "tough lessons." While it didn't go into detail, the company has struggled to deal with live violence, including murders and rapes. It hasn't always stopped these streams in mid-progress, and in some cases left the completed clips online for significant amounts of time. The company has taken significant steps to improve its behavior with both additional human moderators and AI-based automated tools, but it's well aware that its work "is not done."

The one certainty: Facebook Live isn't going away. Although Facebook's emphasis these days tends to be more on professionally-shot live video than on spur-of-the-moment amateur video, the data shows that it's now an integral part of Facebook's media experience. The main concerns are whether Live will continue to grow (ironically, the biggest challenge may be Facebook's own Instagram), and whether it'll properly address social issues as they come up.

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