Snapchat Adds Live Video Feature… But You Can’t Use It

And there’s a darn good reason.

Source: Flickr

What’s the reason, you ask? Well, best we can tell, this is a one-time thing for Snapchat and it’s only for the 2018 Olympics.

How’s that for annoying?

Snapchat Struck a Deal with NBC to Broadcast Live Olympic Coverage, Streaming Directly via Its App

This new feature has a very simple brand name: Live. That’s it. That’s all it’s called. Direct and upfront.

However, we’re sure to know that Snapchat isn’t just dangling a piece of meat in front of its 150 million daily active users just to be mean. The truth is this may be a precursor to what the company might provide sometime down the road. In a way, this almost seems like a test run of the company’s new feature.

While we remain hopeful, a Snap spokesperson told TechCrunch that “ users have not been clamoring for Live broadcasting abilities” and there’s currently no intention of extending live broadcasting abilities to everyday users. The spokesperson went on to suggest that Snapchat may stream key moments of future events, such as the Oscars awarding Best Picture.

Demo of how Snapchat Live broadcasts. (Source: Josh Constine via TechCrunch)

Rest assured, we’re going to be watching this space very carefully, because Snapchat has never done anything with live video before!

NBC will be the first to utilize Snapchat Live capabilities, with select coverage beginning this Saturday, Feb. 10, through the app’s Discover section.

Before you start thinking that Snapchat will become something of a YouTube clone, think again. Snapchat’s live video content will be considerably shorter — anywhere between two to six minutes long, unlike YouTube live content that can basically go on forever.

This means you won’t expect the platform to be your go-to for complete live stream Olympics coverage, as NBC will not broadcast every moment of every event via Snapchat. But the fact that NBC — with its history of paywalls and limited free coverage — is doing this at all should tell you something.

The fact that Snapchat squared away a deal with NBC to live stream the Olympics is a game changer. A huge one at that. This is especially the case given that NBC doesn’t even own Snapchat. However, NBCUniversal did fork over a hefty $500 million investment in Snap during its IPO as part of the company’s strategy to drive digital growth.

Expect this to be a foreshadowing of many things to come — especially if the turnout ends up being a big payout on both ends. If the Olympics won big, so will other companies. Other brands. Other events. They’ll all want a piece of that Snapchat Live pie. We hope that pie will come with cherries and hot apple cider.

The First Ever Snapchat Live Stream Will Hit Your Phone on Saturday, Feb. 10

I know, it’s weird. You’ll be able to watch parts of the Olympics on your phone without a cable subscription. Pretty wild. There is one thing you should keep in mind, though. All of those live videos will be deleted from the app once they’re done streaming. That means you’ll have a small window of opportunity to catch some of the coolness that is the 2018 Winter Olympics.

So what do you think, live video enthusiasts? Did Snapchat win the gold, silver, or bronze? Or are they still lagging behind in the live streaming race?


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