Brands are entering the age of video first, says Lori Wright, chief marketing officer of video conferencing company BlueJeans. The transition will present new challenges and opportunities for businesses, and is already well underway she said as BlueJeans launched its new Facebook live video platform this week.

“We’re at a golden age of online video,” according to Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.

Live video has exploded and resonated with people around the world. “People watch live videos longer and they comment ten times as much as regular videos,” Zuckerberg said.

A spokesperson from Facebook told Which-50 they were thrilled with developers like BlueJeans enabling the live experience.

BlueJeans Network released a statement announcing they are the first platform to bring interactivity and large scale broadcasting to Facebook live. “For the first time, companies, organisations and brands can create large-scale, interactive broadcast experiences for their own Facebook audiences,” the spokesperson said.

The BlueJeans CEO, Krish Ramakrishnan, said Facebook is a must have channel for brands to interact with audiences. His cloud based video communication company provides the platform for multiple people to interact simultaneously.

“Until today, Facebook Live has been primarily a one-way viewing experience. BlueJeans changes that dynamic by enabling multiple people in different locations to come together and interact on Facebook Live,” he said.

Lori Wright, CMO BlueJeans

BlueJeans CMO, Lori Wright, told Which-50 the new platform started as an experiment for the company, which had previously focused on the B2B video communications market.

As Facebook live took off, BlueJeans saw an opportunity. “We thought, wait, are we limiting the reach and scale, given that’s where the social audience already is,” Wright said. “What if we could take what we already have and make that available on these established communities?” she said.

The response was overwhelming, with viewership exceeding expectations during tests. “It caught on like wildfire,” she said, “People were seeing something they’d never seen before. For the first time in a very real and authentic way, people could converse, across six different people sitting in locations around the world.”

The BlueJeans CMO is predicting a market where video communication becomes more prevalent and eventually ubiquitous, saying video will replace audio only in much the same way the telephone replaced the telegraph.

The market for live video is expanding, according to Wright. “I think it’s growing immensely, when you think about a decade ago we were looking and saying, ‘ok is mobile going to have an impact?’ Then the whole world became mobile first. This is the era that I think the whole world will become video first. We’re seeing that happen all over the place.”

The new platform allows many people to broadcast simultaneously: BlueJeans

Opportunities exist in Australia as well, since launching here in 2013 BlueJeans has seen the Australian market respond well to video communication. “We’re really pleased with the traction we’re seeing in Australia, we’re certainly seeing a lot of demand,” Wright said. Also noting there is nothing indicating the Australian market won’t continue to grow and scale.

The medium provides another channel for marketers to engage with audiences at a new level. “We see the customer engagement go up in such a great and profound way when suddenly they can have the power of sight… It happens so much faster and in such a more impactful way when it’s on video,” Wright said.

While brands may be understandably hesitant to relinquish some control when going live, Wright said the customers appreciate the authenticity the new digital channel provides. “There’s just a more human element… that human element that video brings in and it takes a little bit of the stuffiness out.”

Wright says businesses should be positioning themselves now to take advantage of live video. “We’re seeing that out of so many leading businesses around the world.” The barriers to adoption have been overcome by technology that is now reliable and secure she said.

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