Facebook Closer to Testing Live Video Ads


Facebook live video is set to become more lucrative for content creators and advertisers alike in the near future, as the social media juggernaut has confirmed that live video ads are on the way.

The news came at June’s VidCon, an annual event for the digital video industry. During a panel, Fidji Simo, Facebook’s video product head, was asked about when ads might be coming to Facebook live video. In response, Simo said that the project was a priority for Facebook and that testing on live video ads was expected to begin within a few months.

Midstream Ad Format Most Likely

During the Q&A, Simo expanded on the possibilities for live video ads on Facebook. The question on many people’s minds – both inside and outside of Facebook HQ – is the format that live video ads will take.

While Simo was careful to avoid specifics, she seemed to indicate that the most likely format for ads will be midstream “commercial break” style ads. This aligns with previous reports that Facebook has been considering a midstream ad format. The team at Facebook seems to believe that this format will deliver the biggest ad revenues for the social network and its content creators.

Some in the industry are skeptical of midstream ads under the belief that the interruption may turn off viewers with short attention spans. But at VidCon, Simo stated that the length of Facebook live video feeds combined with user behavior has led the company to strongly consider midstream ads.

Other Changes to Facebook Live Upcoming

Facebook also used VidCon as a platform to announce a series of other changes for Facebook live. Among those changes are a Google Hangouts-like feature that allows live broadcasters to include another video feed as part of their broadcast. While Hangouts allows multiple extra feeds, Facebook users will only be able to include one additional feed.

In another move echoing Hangouts, Facebook will make it possible for broadcasters to schedule their live video events. This way, friends and followers will be able to request notification in advance to know when an event is starting. Facebook also announced that it would be incorporating face-masking app MSQRD into its live video system in the near future.

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