Facebook Updates Live Video While Seeking Content Diversity

What Happened
Facebook continues to improve its Live video product and diversify its content. Earlier today, the social network announced that it is doubling the length limit of Live videos from two hours to four hours. Moreover, it is adding the option for viewers to mute real-time comments and Reactions during broadcasts, allowing users to focus on the content without distractions.

As for its quest for more content diversity, Facebook reportedly has committed to paying about $2.2 million in the coming months to popular video creators from YouTube, Vine, and other digital video platforms as incentive for them to use Facebook Live. The company also scored the rights to live stream nine U.S. Olympic basketball exhibition games starting July 22. The live coverage will be available on the Facebook pages of USA Basketball and the NBA and sponsored by Verizon.

What Brands Need To Do
So far, Facebook has not introduced any ad products for Live video, choosing instead to focus on improving the user experience first. However, adding Verizon as a sponsor for its live streams of basketball games suggests that Facebook may be open to brand sponsorships for Live video. The extended Live video length grants brands more freedom in conducting longer events on Facebook, and broadcasters can encourage viewers to temporarily hide comments to get their full attention during big moments.

As Facebook continues to build out Live video, early-adopting brands such as Popeyes and McDonald’s have started organizing live events to launch new products and engage with fans. For brands considering trying Facebook Live, it is important to craft engaging content that truly resonates with the target audience, but also to be flexible enough to roll with whatever happens and allow the audience to influence the narrative. For more suggestions on how brands can leverage live streaming for marketing, you can read this CMO’s Guide to Live Video on AdAge.


Sources: VentureBeat, WSJ, and Variety