Live Streaming to Social Media, the Advantages and Disadvantages

Your ministry probably already has a following on Social Media Networks like Facebook, YouTube and publishing your Live-Events to these platforms seems to makes lots of sense.

Full disclosure: Our company,, provides streaming video for ministries.

Posting your Recorded Videos (on-demand) or Live Streams to Social Media Networks is very different from posting anywhere else, such as to your website. This comes with both advantages and disadvantages.


  1. In most cases Social Media Networks are ad-funded, meaning, they monetize your viewership on their platform with advertising which helps pay for the costs of transcoding, storage and delivery. In most cases the Social Media Networks pay for those costs on their end and do not charge you.
  2. You have the potential to reach additional viewers. Like everything else on your Facebook page, your live video can sit there permanently and still get views. Marketers are jumping on this opportunity to use their videos for online marketing campaigns, mailing list, and repurpose them on other social media channels to boost engagement. YouTube’s content is also searchable so that is a plus.
  3. Some of your followers may be users of those Social Media Networks, thus enjoying finding your on-demand and living stream media there as well.


  1. In most cases you are signing over the rights to your content, – meaning, the Social Media Network has the right to publish, deny publishing, remove files or use your content otherwise.
  2. Your content is subject to their terms. Social Media Networks are not obligated to publish your on-demand files or live-streams. They can, but they do not have to. They can interrupt your streams, abort them, or deny them up front. They do not have to give you clear reasons and in most cases they won’t.
  3. Video-Ads and Banner-Ads on, and surrounding, your content will advertise for products and services which may, or may not, display graphics and promote items in line with your values, your message, your mission.
  4. Related (or unrelated) videos or live streams will be featured in close proximity to your own media (often in the same video player following your video), exposing your viewership to media that may, or may not, be in line with your values, message and mission.
  5. Both on-demand files and live streams are subject to the Social Media Network’s review and approval. Most networks use a software-based review processes. It is critical to keep in mind that the review teams have both the power and the obligation to censor as they deem fit. They have to in order to keep content off their Social Media Network which conflicts with their terms of use or is otherwise deemed harmful. Depending on your content’s message this can potentially lead to delays or even disruption in service. Delays or disruptions may not be as critical for on-demand files, but are certainly not pleasant during live-events.
  6. Expect the occasional technical glitches that can cause lagging, blurry videos, warped sounds, or slowness for the people that are tuned in. This could happen with any service but with social media networks, there is no way to get customer support like you would with a paid service.

It’s important to discuss these things with your team. This is especially vital for your leadership, media department, and technical staff. No one wants to feel bad and held responsible for something that is beyond their control, and the terms of Social Media Networks certainly are beyond anyone’s control. It is essential to be aware of the risks.

For more than 20 years our expert staff has worked exclusively with churches and ministries around the world. We are more than a tech company. Let us serve you. We are available 7 days a week, even on Sundays. Email us at [email protected] or use live chat at the bottom right of your page.

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