Live Streaming in 2019

Live streaming video is the most engaging form of online content in 2019. It creates more engagement than traditional video and presents a lot more opportunities for brands to tell their stories to the target audiences in ways that weren’t possible before.

In this article, we take a look at the two giants of live video streaming – Facebook Live Streaming and Youtube Live Streaming and understand the differences between both live streaming platforms.


YouTube has been experimenting with youtube live streaming since 2009 when they broadcasted a U2 concert. A few other notable youtube live stream events were a Q/A session with Barrack Obama in 2010 and Felix Baumgarner’s free fall from the stratosphere in 2012.

Somewhere around that time, YouTube had already started using its own live streaming infrastructure as the backend. Today, YouTube allows any account with 100 subscribers to start streaming live video on mobile or desktop.

Facebook initially added the option to live stream video in 2015, but it was only restricted to celebrities. Some celebrities that were amongst the first to broadcast live video to facebook included Ricky Gervais when he streamed live video while sitting in his bathtub.

Eventually, within a month, Facebook Live was rolled out to all users of the platform, allowing them to broadcast video live to their followers on the platform.  


  • Facebook live video streaming has a maximum resolution of 720p/30fps while a YouTube Live broadcast video can have a maximum resolution of 1080p/60fps. For brands that value the video quality of their live stream, YouTube Live is clearly a superior option.
  • Facebook Live limits every live stream to four hours, whereas YouTube Live allows its users to stream for over thirty-six hours and more.
  • Both of them have features like scheduled events, embedding of the live video stream, mobile live streaming.
  • Some features found on YouTube Live and not Facebook Live are easy monetization, an in-built video editor while some features like audience segmentation and live stream map are found on Facebook Live and not YouTube Live.
  • Lastly, Facebook Live has around 1.9 billion active users monthly with a total viewing time of 3 billion hours per month while for YouTube Live, there are 1.3 billion active users monthly with a total viewing time of 3.25 billion hours per month.

Recommended: 10 Ways To Make Your Live Stream Better

Overall Decision

When it comes to the raw overall quality of live streams, YouTube Live is a clear winner. However, it lacks the social media features that are inbuilt into Facebook Live. For big brands and corporates, streaming video on Facebook Live is a great way to leverage the massive and hard-earned following on the social media platform to get their message across even though there are quite a few technical video limitations in the streaming platform.

Most brands who use live streaming to communicate usually hedge their bets by simultaneously broadcasting on all major platforms including Facebook Live and YouTube Live. This is done by using the expert services of a third-party live stream provider to reap the benefits of both and get the best of both worlds.