YouTube has been live streaming from major US festivals for a number of years and now Facebook is looking to muscle in on this area – sideways. It was testing out its live streaming feature at the Lollapalooza festival over the weekend – but letting Facebook users do the heavy lifting.

Its Place Tips feature is now opened up to let those at the festival, including performers, post videos and photos. So this is encroaching more on the patches of Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Meerkat than it is on YouTube. For the moment. Place Tips debuted at the start of January this year but was extended in June to be more aimed at local businesses. “Place Tips gather useful information about a business or landmark—like posts from the business’ Page, upcoming events and friends’ recommendations and check-ins—and show it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors,” is how it defines itself. Music, it seems, is next.

That said, it still appears to be early days for Place Tips and concerts, with a Facebook spokesperson telling the WSJ, “This Place Tips Lollapalooza experience is just one of the many ways Facebook is trying to help people get the feel of an event when they’re not there.”

It is currently only open to users in the US but is part of a move by the company to place itself in the centre of the “live broadcast” space that others (Periscope, Meerkat, Instagram) has already planted their flags in and others (Twitter) are reportedly about to invade.

Facebook is trying to spin its “USP” here as being that people using Place Tips will see video content from friends at events rather than content from all users. It is not a fully-fledged move into streaming from all the stages at festival like YouTube has done – but surely it is only a matter of time. Facebook, now with just shy of 1.5bn users, is keen to own more of the online video market and is pushing creators to natively upload videos to the site. For now, music here is limited as Facebook is not paying out any royalties for this – but is on the cusp of doing so. Once that is in place and copyright holders are happy with both the engagement rates and resulting revenues it would not be a leap in the dark for the company to do a full bells and whistles streaming experience from festivals. It’s too late for this year’s festival season but next year’s could tell a very different story. 

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