ANGELES — Viral video maker BuzzFeed got at least 3.1
million people to flip over to Facebook to watch a pair
of people in hazmat suits and goggles wrap rubber bands
around a watermelon until it exploded.
live stunt Friday placed a major spotlight on Facebook
Live, the social media company’s push to get people to
stream live footage of anything and everything in their
lives. To encourage early adoption, Facebook has been
paying a small number of media companies, including
BuzzFeed, to get creative with live streaming, according
to news reports this week.
an online media company known for its wacky videos,
quizzes and articles, said Facebook did not pay for
watermelon crushing. Facebook wouldn’t comment on the
record about whether it helped fund the watermelon and
no doubt, though, that Facebook now has a great example
that shows how live streams can quickly spread among its
1.6 billion users.
watermelon survived about 45 minutes before its top
blasted off, leading to an eruption of cheers among
onlookers inside BuzzFeed’s New York cafeteria. About
800,000 people watched together online at one moment in
the broadcast, which BuzzFeed said marked its largest
ever concurrent viewership. The figure is comparable to
what video streaming app Twitch gets for top video game
classifies anyone who tunes in for at least three
seconds as a viewer, which is much shorter than the
one-minute requirement TV ratings firm Nielsen uses.
video is among Facebook’s top initiatives. Smartphones
and better mobile data connections have made it easy for
people to quickly upload videos and draw a large number
of viewers across the world. And because ads tied to
videos tend to be more lucrative, and even more so when
attached to live content, tech companies like Facebook,
Twitter and Snapchat are eager to become hubs for video
won’t say how many people are using its Facebook Live,
explaining it’s too early to judge the product, which
was first introduced to celebrities, athletes and
journalists last August before rolling out to everyone.