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Facebook Live gets the vote for #Brexit coverage
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Facebook Live gets the vote for #Brexit coverage

We take a look at how the EU referendum played out on Facebook Live

So that’s that. The votes have been casted, counted and analysed. At least one party is already looking for a new leader and we’re preparing to bid adieu to the EU.

The seismic effects of last night’s ‘Brexit’ vote won’t be truly known or felt for a while yet, and there will be winners and losers on both sides. But, putting our agency hat on for a moment, there was one very clear winner:

Facebook Live!

Since its global launch in February, we’ve tuned in to see everything from exploding watermelons to hysterical Chewbacca masks, but the EU referendum increasingly saw broadcasters, press and publishers turn to the infant platform.

As you might expect, Buzzfeed were at the forefront of this, culminating in a series of live town hall debates with political heavyweights like Nigel Farage, Nicola Sturgeon and (soon-to-be ex) Prime Minister David Cameron. 

Traditional broadcasters got involved too. Last night, as Jeremy Vine pranced up and down a virtual Downing Street and David Dimbleby prodded and probed his guests, the Beeb was also streaming live from the studio on Facebook.

Fast forward to the morning, and The Guardian – amongst others -were camped outside number 10 to broadcast live on Facebook as David Cameron tendered his resignation to the nation- and 422k Facebook viewers. To put that in perspective, ITV's Good Morning Britain was pulling in an average of 600k viewers at the end of last year.

Let’s be clear - the EU referendum came at the perfect time for Facebook Live, giving broadcasters and publishers a genuine reason to exist in that space. And while it’s now over, it will have sold many on the benefits (News UK for example, are now producing at least 25 live videos per week).

In a few short months, the burgeoning format has evolved into a credible broadcasting platform with potentially massive audience, and – unlike last night’s result - that’s one thing we can surely all agree on.

Posted 23 June 2016 by Ben Waterhouse