SYDNEY: Sydney’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks, which traditionally kick off the world’s major celebrations, are set to be streamed live on Facebook for the first time, officials said Monday.
The visual extravaganza in Australia’s biggest city is already watched by more than a million people at Sydney Harbour and a further one billion via a television audience.
Organizers hope the live stream will be viewed by more than 10 million Facebook users around the world.
The announcement marks the latest push by the US social media giant to tap into live video as it competes with similar offerings from Twitter and Tumblr.
“By making the most of digital technology only available this year, we can put Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show in the palm of people’s hands around the world — right as it happens,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement.
Some 90% of visitors to Sydney during New Year’s Eve say they travel to the harbour city specifically for the fireworks, according to a survey by research analyst group StollzNow.
Live video streaming has become a popular tool on social media in recent months with the launch of Twitter’s Periscope last year and Facebook Live, which opened to all users earlier this year.
Tumblr, the Yahoo-owned blogging platform, in June also unveiled its own live video feature.