Facebook leadership debate reached an audience of millions

AUSTRALIA'S first leadership debate to be held via social media and streaming rather than through a live broadcast has reached more than 2.2 million people.

The debate was held on Friday night in Facebook's head office in Sydney and was the third and final debate for the 2016 Federal Election.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spent more than an hour answering questions put to them predominately from voters posting on Facebook.

Audience members in the room and those tuning in on Facebook shot questions at both party leaders on issues such as penalty rates, university fees, same sex marriage and housing affordability. 

The wide reach of the live streaming, which continues to grow, could signal the end of live television's dominance in political debates.

Facebook statistics show the live streaming gained an estimated 160,000 views by 8.15pm on Friday night, more than an hour after it had come to a close.

The video was estimated to have been seen in the social media feeds of more than 1.6 million people and the view count on the video had reached more than 457,000 on Saturday afternoon.

Rewatch the debate here:

Topics:  bill shorten editors picks federal election 2016 malcolm tunrbull social media

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