Facebook Inc launched its own live streaming service last week, and the move brought on a hopeful mood about the firm’s video business. Global Web Index said the move will “weaken one of the reasons its users have for embracing alternative platforms.” It won’t be able to make the service work, however, until it’s able to bring in some new robots.
Facebook has a major problem with theft. The firm has no AI system in place to take down videos that are stolen, and it doesn’t seem to be willing to put one in place just yet. For Facebook “Live” that won’t be a problem. The system is only open to celebrities, and they’re not likely to stream Star Wars: The Force Unleashed without permission.
Facebook has a robot problem
The theft issue is likely one of the reasons that Facebook confined its live streaming platform to public figures. The firm can, with a decent level of certainty, trust them to avoid breaking the rules, and can leverage those streams for ad sales as a result.
If the service takes off, however, Facebook will likely want to set it up to compete with the likes of Meerkat or Periscope from Twitter Inc. That means letting normal users, with all of their love for pirating Game of Thrones, use the service and trying to put ads on top of it. That opens up Facebook to a wealth of disputes, and it’s the problem it needs robots to fix.
Google, with its YouTube platform, makes use of a program called ContentID. The program seeks out videos that break copyrights, and remove them. The system is not perfect. Sometimes it removes the wrong pieces of footage and it misses a lot of stolen material, but Google has made those buying ads comfortable.
Facebook needs to do the same.
Selling ads for Facebook video
Right now Facebook is facing a lot of backlash from content makers angry at the theft of their work.
Hank Green, YouTube star of the VlogBrothers channel, recently accused Facebook of “cheating, lies and theft.” He added that the firm was stealing content in order to make itself seem like the number one source for online video.
Mr. Green’s voice is listened to in the video community, and his charges were noticed by Facebook itself.
Facebook said that they “have a team working on it and expect to have more to share later this year.” It’s clear that in order to make video work on the platform, and to spread “Live” beyond the world of public figures, the firm will need to put a content theft hurdle in place.
Facebook has made Wall Street get behind its video platform, but the firm won’t be able to make money off of it until it can convince ad buyers that Facebook has the rights to the content their ads are going to appear on. How the firm solves the robot problem will set its course in video for years to come.