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Whether your dad is showing off his barbecue skills or Buzz Feed staffers are exploding a watermelon, real-time video has become the latest social medium of choice.The norms are still taking shape, especially as Facebook and others assess how to handle recent unexpected, visceral content like Philando Castile's final moments after being shot by a police officer.But not every live stream on Twitter will include ads.Facebook doesn't sell ads on its users' live video, but observers expect the company to test commercials within such streams soon."The real-time nature of it allows marketers to hit in the heat of the moment, which is compelling for users," said Diana Gordon, senior partner-group director, search and social, Mindshare North America.A Facebook Live video is watched three times longer than a video that isn't live, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.But the ability to connect so immediately and urgently will continue to attract users—and marketers trying to reach them. Digital video has been a preferred means for many brands to communicate with and entertain consumers for some time, with the ultimate goal of going viral.Live streaming takes digital video one step further, letting marketers have a two-way conversation with consumers.
If there is ever an opportunity to advertise in Facebook users' broadcasts, it will certainly require a more delicate hand than advertising within streams from media companies.The post got 4,000 likes and drove 31,680 views, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.Since it aired, the video has received 37,000 views and about 4,000 engagements."Over time we explore ways for businesses to use these new services and connect with their consumers, and when appropriate, we build and test ad products that support the new ways in which people connect," she said via email."When it comes to live video on Facebook, advertisers should watch live content that resonates, see what's working for publishers and try out Live themselves." More ad opportunities could emerge this fall if Al Roker's new media company succeeds with its Live Fronts, an event to connect creators of live content with marketers and media buyers.