Barack Obama, BuzzFeed and Facebook It was supposed to be a high-profile showcase for new journalism from new technology with the new-media President.
Instead it became the most high-profile example yet of how live streaming can go wrong.
BuzzFeed’s livestream interview on Monday with President Barack Obama froze on Facebook, leaving the site with only a short introductory clip of the interviewer.
BuzzFeed ended up re-directing Facebook viewers to watch the livestream on YouTube by pasting a link to the latter in the comments.That video has already logged more than 100,000 views.
The origin of the problem with Facebook’s stream was not immediately clear, although YouTube’s seemed to work well. The two companies have developed a strong rivalry as leaders in online video, with the two arguing over viewing metrics and battling for advertiser money.
The livestream had been widely promoted by BuzzFeed, which has been active on Facebook Live with a variety of videos including the now-famous watermelon video.
The Facebook Live stream did begin with Chris Geidner waiting for the president, but froze and ended before Obama appeared.
Facebook has been touting live streaming as a major new feature, even paying media companies to produce a certain amount of content (Mashableis one of these partners).
Live streaming remains a technological challenge, particularly around major events. Facebook reportedly put around 150 engineers into the project, which it then touted at its recent F8 conference.
Commenters on the Facebook stream began to notice problems almost immediately.
A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said the site was still trying to figure out what went wrong, and added that the company had always planned to livestream on both platforms.
A request for comment sent to Facebook was not immediately returned.
There was also a slight issue with the camera position. As Obama andGeidner left the interview, they ended up, well… see for yourself.
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