Facebook this evening will officially launch its live-streaming video channel, while webcasting a sit-down discussion with actress America Ferrera about the marketing of her indie film, "The Dry Land."
The new channel, dubbed Facebook Live, would seemingly underscore the social site's untapped potential as an entertainment channel. Such speculation would seem fair when considering a platform that draws 500 million sets of eyeballs on a daily basis.
But Facebook told ClickZ News that it doesn't want any part of showbiz - at least not for now.
Rebecca Hahn, spokesperson for the Palo Alto, CA-based company, said the channel would only air events that either tie back to Facebook products or feature how people use the social site. "For example, today America [Ferrera] will talk about how The Dry Land team used social media channels such as Facebook rather than traditional media to promote the film," she said.
Still, the launch is bound to have marketers wondering about a possible social media and entertainment video product from Facebook. During the live Ferrera interview, viewers will be able to interact with one another via a chat stream. They will also be able to post status updates while watching and listening to the actress if they enable the Facebook Live app.
No matter how Facebook decides to leverage that style of interaction for future video events, entertainment marketers are continuing to upgrade how they utilize social media sites. Just last week, Sony Pictures used Facebook and MySpace to live-stream the red carpet festivities for premiere of "The Takers," an action movie starring Matt Dillon that will be released on Aug. 27.
Meanwhile, Hahn said that standard Facebook.com ads will appear along the right-hand side of the page during the Ferrera interview. Though, she wouldn't say whether or not ads for future Facebook Live events would be available separately on the site's ad-buying platform.
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014