Facebook added a new clause to the Facebook Platform Policy for developers aimed at establishing grounds for sanctioning users who use the company's Live application programming interface (API) for streaming fake broadcasts. The Live API section of the social media giant's Platform Policy now contains an item that forbids using the API for streaming static images and animations, as well as streaming "polls associated with unmoving or ambient broadcasts." The Menlo Park, California-based company said that users who violate this clause will initially have the visibility of their content reduced and will face further sanctions in case of repeat offenses. Among other things, Facebook may resort to restricting one's access to the Facebook Live platform, the company said.
The social media giant is likely looking to improve the overall quality of Live videos with this move after receiving user feedback criticizing numerous live streams that aren't really live and instead only consist of static images or looping animations aimed at promoting polls or some other type of content. The company previously resorted to sanctioning similar videos that were trying to encourage people to vote on certain matters but hasn't officially forbidden them in its Platform Policy until now. It's currently unclear whether this policy change will affect all videos that heavily rely on graphics as Facebook didn't clarify on how it's planning to detect offenders. The Internet giant will likely resort to some kind of an algorithm-based mechanism, though it remains to be seen whether human reviewers will also be part of the equation.
The company's efforts to improve the quality of Live videos people stream on its platform make sense in light of Facebook's recent video-oriented push that's not only seeking to improve user engagement rates but is also aimed at opening new opportunities for serving advertisements and consequently improving the firm's revenue stream. The newly introduced Platform Policy changes are effective immediately and will likely be expanded on at a later date as Facebook's Live ecosystem continues evolving, with the social media giant being widely expected to further improve upon its functionality in the future. An update on Facebook's video-related ambitions should follow in the coming months.