Bukola Saraki's Facebook page shows that the Nigerian Senate is testing Facebook live; Facebook's feature that lets users broadcast live videos to any audience. The Senate President apologized for inconsistencies and interruptions in transmission.
New Media Department is doing a test run of the Facebook Live Streaming please bear with us for any interruptions as we perfect the system.
For almost a year, the National Assembly has been live streaming its plenary sessions on its official YouTube page. Its first live video was slightly over a minute, which showed Senator Oluremi Tinubu in session.
Subsequently, the National Assembly uploaded lengthier sessions on their YouTube channel. However, the number of views and likes so far have been poor. This low viewership can be attributed to so many factors. One of the most important reasons being disinterest. The average Nigerian may not be interested in politics or political proceeding of any kind.
There's also the high cost of internet bundles, which still constitute a major problem. However, the new test on Facebook live may be a good strategy by the National Assembly to keep more Nigerians up to speed with proceedings.
Test run of live facebook streaming of Plenary activiity of Senate as the Senate begins Delibration on MTEF 2017... https://t.co/ficyCCA31k
— Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) October 19, 2016
It is more data effective to stream videos on Facebook than it is on YouTube as videos are compressed. Therefore, Nigerians are more likely to watch a Senate plenary session on Facebook live than YouTube. Facebook as a more data effective means of streaming videos will hopefully see more viewers and engagement than the YouTube platform.
A puzzling angle to this development is that the test video is streaming live on the official Facebook page of the senate president, while the Nigerian Senate has its own page. No official reason has been given for this.
Nonetheless, this innovative gravitation by the Nigerian Senate towards e-governance is a very welcome development.