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18th March 2021

Live Social Media Gaffes

Casting my mind back to 2015 when Facebook launched the live video function, it was hard to imagine how much these features would take off and how far-reaching they would become.

Also available on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, live videos have provided a great way to offer high profile individuals and organisations the chance to interact with their audience. The sports industry in particular has capitalised on them in recent times, using these platforms to stream matches and press conferences in high definition.

Live videos are evidently a great marketing tool – but when something goes wrong, it can go very wrong. We have seen many entertaining examples since the start of the pandemic of blunders in meetings and university lectures – famous entities with millions of followers, however, are a different beast entirely.

Manchester United

A bizarre example of this occurred a couple of weeks ago, when somebody on Manchester United’s social media team seemingly launched a live video on Instagram by mistake. Viewers were greeted with a black screen, while the sound of kitchen plates and a microwave could be heard.

United has one of the biggest fan bases in the world and their Instagram account boasts nearly 40 million followers. As such, a highly embarrassing lunch break for the admin ensued, with as many as 37,000 people joining to view the erroneous stream.

Orlando Bloom

News programmes have had to reinvent the way in which they interview guests, with social distancing restrictions rendering them mostly unable to go to broadcast studios in person. As such, many celebrities have had to be interviewed over video calls or social media lives, which is all well and good when they are tech-savvy – less so when they don’t have a clue what they’re doing, though, as actor Orlando Bloom found out in an interview with Jessica Yellin, former Chief White House correspondent at CNN.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star was not visible for a lengthy period at the start of the broadcast and could be heard saying: “How do I do this? How do I find Jessica?”

It took his wife, Katy Perry, to jump in and rectify the situation, saying “hi” to his waiting fans and get him up and running and spare his blushes somewhat.

Rafael Nadal

19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal experienced similar problems last year, when he was due to speak with a number of fellow tennis stars during a hiatus for the sport in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spaniard voiced his frustrations with technology as he tried – and failed – numerous times to add Roger Federer to the live. When the Swiss icon finally joined, it became apparent that he wasn’t much more au fait with it either, as the pair joked about their misfortune with Federer saying: “I didn’t know if it was me or you!”

What are your favourite social media fails? Let us know in the comments below!