The Real-Time Web Inches Closer To Reality: Facebook's Live Stream Box

Anyone who has observed online behavior with the advent of microblogging will have noticed that people will often converse online during live events such as football games or political speeches or television talent shows.

I have long contended that the last bastion of appointment television is the live event or breaking news. Facebook appears to be targeting that online behavior , a feature that allows developers and site-owners to incorporate live Facebook activity into live streaming video.

The Minnesota-based citizen journalism outfit has been executing this function well during their coverage of live political events and speeches.

that we got to see examples of Facebook’s execution with CNN’s live stream of the presidential inauguration and TNT’s broadcast of the NBA All-Star game. also says “One downside of using the Live Stream Box is that content posted to it will not be archived or accessible for any APIs. Essentially it’s a one-use chat room that you can throw away at a later point.”

of the service on’s page on this story.

that the Live Stream Box will work within multiplayer games, as well. They also note that the feature “is built to scale; they [Facebook] anticipate certain sites or events having so many real-time updates that not all users will be able to view or absorb all the content in the stream.”

that “ will be the first to take advantage of it with , a new service to provide live video support to select Facebook users.”

The two companies teamed to provide live coverage of Jonas Brothers concerts last night that attracted a massive audience that, as TechCrunch reports, generated 1.5 million unique posts.

TechCrunch also reports that there will be a Live tab that can be added to Facebook Pages, which will house live content like streaming video and the Live Stream Box.

UStream is offering both a “free ad-supported version, and a white-label version” of the their streaming solution, according to TechCrunch.

NewTeeVee reports that people visiting a Live Stream Box-enabled web page will be able to follow and participate in the comment stream from everyone on the site who is also participating or they can engage in their own personal news feed directly from the page.

This is the first practical application that implements the idea of being able to bring your network with you wherever you go.

that the “Live Stream Box makes use of your social relationships in other ways. Any comment made through the app is accompanied by a tagline when it shows up in friends’ Facebook feeds, (e.g., “via Jonas Bros webchat”), enticing more people to join the live stream right as it’s happening.”

“Facebook’s Live Stream widget is critical to its partnerships with major broadcast and cable TV networks. We expect to see more integrations like the CNN and TNT examples coming later this year. ”

, importantly, “if I’ll be able to share the broadcast outside of Facebook. If Facebook diverted from its walled garden mentality, now that would be innovative.”

This is potentially a very big development and presents fantastic opportunities for organizations and/or individuals who are involved in live events.

I imagine the appeal of real-time online video will only grow as live-streaming video capabilities become standard features of mobile phones and as video cameras get Internet access.

Throw in the fact that people love to talk about television (and, by extension, Web video) and the appeal of sharing live events and experiences, and you’ve got a recipe that is likely to be enormously popular.

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