A Comedy of Live Streaming

I think it's safe to say that Facebook's Live streaming has well and truly taken off.

Its real-time engagement offers something a little different from YouTube: the content can feel more authentic, improvised and immediate.

No surprise then that comedians are taking to this form, since the appeal of their performances often capitalises on the spontaneous and the right now quality. The best comedians are able to interact with co-performers and their audience in a way that seems natural. At the very least, we expect comedians to deliver a pre-written joke as if they had made it up on the spot.

The live streaming form is perfect for building a prominent online presence for comedians, as it allows them to reach audiences through their news feeds and gain followers who are notified of their activity.

Well-known comedians such as Amy Schumer and Kevin Hart are finding success in live streaming, broadcasting behind the scenes footage of interviews, shows and everyday life.

Others are streaming whole routines and shows in the hope of reaching a wider audience. Comics Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson began with a podcast, called 2 Dope Girls, and use Facebook Live streaming to broadcast their shows.

Interestingly, Facebook have cottoned on to the comedic potential of live streaming and are investing significant chunks of money in paying comedians to produce content and promote the platform.

Facebook has signed big deals with internet sensations, like Logan Paul, whose humorous activities have gained them fame on Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine. Paul has a huge following on Facebook, with over 11 million users liking his page and tuning in to his material. He signed a contract with Facebook in the six-figure region.

It makes sense for Facebook to recruit established Internet stars, since they already have extensive and often very committed followings, and they understand how to manage online content on social networks.

We'll have to see how the system progresses and whether Facebook will move to adopt a system that shares revenue with the Live streaming contributors, like the system YouTube use.

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