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Facebook is considering putting ads in Live videos

DENVER — Facebook knows you like live video — and it’s pretty sure that you won’t mind if those real-time clips start playing automatically with audio, then have ads appear in the middle.

Facebook product director Fidji Simo revealed the new details about the social network’s video strategy during in an interview  with CNN’s social-news director Samantha Barry here at the Online News Association’s conference.

 Live — a product that Facebook launched only last August as a celebrities-only feature, but which now stands as a key part of its strategy — took up much of Simo’s time.

Facebook takes Live seriously enough to pay some sites and social-media stars to stream Live video. But it also stumbled badly when it took down the video of Philando Castile’s death after he was shot by a police officer.

Simo said Facebook has to decide if videos of violence glorify it or report it. If the video is reporting on violence, Facebook will keep the clip but add a warning, disable it from playing automatically and hide it from users under 18.

Facebook Live Map - Explore live videos from around the world

Simo added that the company has teams of people working worldwide around the clock to police videos.

At some point, you may be able to watch Facebook video on a media player like a Roku, depending on how many people take advantage of a new option to cast it to an Apple TV or a Chromecast.

Facebook is also considering two changes that may not earn many Likes. One is inserting “mid-roll” ads into video streams, which Facebook plans to bring to Live this year and may add to non-Live videos later on. “People really understand the concept,” she said.

The other is having video play automatically with the sound on — today, it autoplays silently. As a result, only 50% of the time spent watching video on Facebook involves audio.

Simo said the company is running a test to turn sound on by default in News Feed. “We think that actually could be a much better experience.”

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