Facebook Inc will soon be the place for live experiences. The firm has announced a new feature that will allow users to follow Lollapalooza in Chicago from the comfort of their own couch. A similar framework, called Project Lightning, is supposed to come from Twitter Inc in the coming months, but Jack Dorsey, the firm’s CEO has warned that it might take a long time to get right.
The Facebook Lollapalooza coverage is part of the Place Tips feature that Facebook launched in January of 2015. Place Tips allows users to see all the news from their friends at a certain location. The music festival update also carries updates from bands and the media at the festival.
Making Facebook live
A spokesperson for the Menlo Park based firm said “Facebook is trying to help people get the feel of an event when they’re not there.” That might lead to a clash between Mr. Zuckerberg’s firm and event promoters, and it’s certain to lead to a more direct battle with the likes of SnapChat and Twitter.
SnapChat already has a feature, called Our Story, that allows users to follow users at a specific location. Twitter , on the other hand, is at work putting together a curated and branded way to carry live events. That’s going to be called Project Lightning, but it’s a long way from launch.
Facebook tends to put features out there and attract users straight away. It will work out the kinks and figure out how to slap ads on it later on. Right now the firm might run into some issues with the people running events.
If the use of the Place Tips feature takes off, however, the firm will be able to make deals with the rights holders in order to exploit the product.
Twitter falls further and further behind
Facebook envy may be the source of much of the recent problems at Twitter, but if Mark Zuckerberg keeps emulating core Twitter features, that could change. Project Lightning is supposed to be the big driver of growth in Twitter in the months ahead.
Back when Google managed to control search wholly, it began to spam free versions of many web services. Most of those services are now dominated by Google. Email, maps, and video are all firmly part of Google’s sphere.
Those with shares may have been peeved by the firm’s nonchalance, but Twitter is in a much worse position. The firm is missing a stable leadership, and a rich core cash flow.
Twitter needs its live event product to work in order to save itself, and that may lead to Facebook winning out in the end. The Menlo Park firm is able to run a live-event business that loses millions in the short term in order to secure a long term future.
Twitter investors aren’t likely to sign on for more years of losses. Place Tips, right along with Youtube’s NewsWire, are the best placed products to exploit live events because of their endless cash backing. Twitter shares have lost more than 10 percent of their value in the last five days of trading.