Vimeo’s live simulcasting to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope comes with a catch
Facebook prohibits simulcasting to its social network and third-party platforms, so Vimeo creators will need to choose where else they want to simulcast.
Vimeo wants creators to broadcast more live videos on its service. But first, it needs to convince creators why they should fork over at least $65 a month for a feature that’s free on other platforms, like Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Amazon’s Twitch and Twitter’s Periscope. So it’s decided to use its competitors’ services as a selling point.
On Wednesday, Vimeo announced that creators paying to use its live streaming service can simultaneously broadcast to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Periscope, as well as Vimeo. The idea being that if Vimeo can make it easier for creators to go live on larger video services like Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, then they will be more likely to go live on Vimeo as well and pay the company for the capability.
However, there’s a catch.
Facebook prohibits companies from using its Live API to enable others to broadcast live videos to its social network and third-party sites at the same time. In other words, a company like Vimeo is forbidden from enabling creators to simultaneously broadcast to Facebook and YouTube or Facebook and Periscope or Facebook and Twitch. So it’s not actually enabling that, even though its announcement claims that creators “can now simultaneously live stream to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, and more — along with wherever you embed the Vimeo player.”
According to a Vimeo spokesperson, creators will not be able to use Vimeo’s simulcasting feature to simultaneously broadcast to Facebook and YouTube, Twitch or Periscope. Instead, they will only be able to simulcast to Facebook and Vimeo (but not YouTube, Twitch or Periscope) or to YouTube, Twitch, Periscope and Vimeo (but not Facebook).
Simulcasting to Facebook and Vimeo appears to be OK because of an exception Facebook makes for a company using its Live API to stream live to Facebook and the company’s own site simultaneously. “The only exception [to Facebook’s policy against third-party simulcasting] is if you are an owner of a website and are broadcasting to your Facebook page and would like to broadcast to your own first-party site,” according to an FAQ section on Facebook’s developers site.
While Vimeo creators won’t be able to simultaneously stream to Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube, they are able to syndicate their non-live videos across all three services. In November 2017, Vimeo enabled subscribers to its Business and Business Live services to take videos published to Vimeo and, through its platform, upload as native videos to Facebook and YouTube. And this week, Vimeo expanded the syndication feature to anyone paying for its Plus, PRO and live subscription services.
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