And while the addition of MSQRD in itself is cool (and will help Facebook stay in touch with younger fans who have been spending more time on Snapchat), there is another element to consider in the addition of MSQRD masks that could deliver significant benefits for The Social Network.
One of the biggest challenges for live-streaming platforms is that most people aren't actually that comfortable with “going live” and putting themselves out there on a stream. For example, research has shown that despite Periscope having more than 10 million users signed up, only 2.83% of their user base are active broadcasters, leaving the other 97% as viewers only.
This was supported by Meerkat’s founder Ben Rubin, who, in his statement to investors about that platform’s decision to move away from live-streaming, noted that:
“All [live-streaming] platforms are struggling to create repeat broadcasters at a growing rate."
Meerkat’s broadcaster total peaked in May last year, shortly after its launch, hitting an estimated 100,000 for that month. It hasn’t grown since. Rubin noted that finding an audience for live content hasn’t been the key issue for them, the main challenge has been broadcaster take-up.
“Our assumption was that by reducing broadcaster’s cost to broadcast to zero (no equipment, etc) we would be able to create a whole new class of live broadcasters like YouTube did with video and YouTubers. One thing we have learned is there is a very high emotional cost to being entertaining in a live format, and bringing on enough of a live audience to make it worthwhile is challenging too.”