On Friday, Gawker reported that YouTube and Facebook would simultaneously livestream BuzzFeed’s live interview with the President of the United States, which took place today at 2:50 p.m. But it turns out that only the former service was able to hold up their end of the bargain. As you can see in the video below, Facebook Live abruptly stopped working before the interview even began.
It’s not clear what caused Facebook Live to malfunction. As a result, BuzzFeed began directing viewers on Facebook to an (identical) livestream hosted by YouTube—which directly competes with Facebook for advertising revenue sold against videos.
YouTube’s stream held steady for the rest of the interview. Then things got kind of strange. Shortly after the exchange concluded, BuzzFeed immediately uploaded a video of the interview (that had just occurred, on YouTube) to Facebook Live, where the interview began broadcasting with the “Live” label:
Even though it had already occurred! As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week, Facebook Live allows publishers to upload pre-recorded video to the platform, but this is probably the first time it’s hosted a pre-recorded video depicting a interview with a major politician that was designed, in part, to promote Facebook Live as a medium where you witness events as they actually happen. Not as they happened on a competing video platform 30 minutes ago.
Anyway, you can watch the interview on YouTube here:
Facebook and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A BuzzFeed spokesperson told Gawker, “We are still looking into the technical problems.”
Disclosure: Facebook recently began paying news organization, including the New York Times and BuzzFeed, to produce videos for its Facebook Live platform. Gawker Media, Gawker’s parent company, recently joined the same program.