Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Live demo delayed – USA TODAY

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SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s demo of his company’s live-streaming video product from his Facebook page on Wednesday was delayed when he decided to change the location.

Zuckerberg was preparing to take questions from Facebook users about Facebook Live after announcing new features. Sitting on a couch, he spoke for a few seconds then stood up and the Facebook Live video stream abruptly ended. Some 118,000 people were watching the video at the time.

The live video went back online after Zuckerberg had moved to a different location in the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s headquarters.

“We moved to the live video launch room,” Zuckerberg said, leaning against a desk with Facebook workers who worked on the Live product in the background. He then took questions from viewers and demonstrated how to use Facebook Live, which he said is rolling out “soon.”

“Mark changed his mind and wanted to go live with the product team,” Facebook said in an emailed statement.

Zuckerberg gave a rousing endorsement for Facebook Live, saying live streaming is a “new, raw personal spontaneous way people can share.”

“We’re entering this new golden age of videos online,” Zuckerberg told viewers.

Facebook is making major push to get more of its 1.6 billion users shooting and watching live streaming video on mobile devices.

Facebook Live rolled out to celebrities and public figures last summer and more widely earlier this year. Demand for live video impressed Zuckerberg.

“It’s something that took all of us by surprise,” Facebook product management director Fidji Simo told USA TODAY. “We had this meeting earlier in the year in which we presented the plans for video to Mark and the team. We had just rolled out Live to people and I said it was really taking off and I wanted to flag that for everyone in the room. Mark paused and said: ‘Well, if that’s going so well, we should double down on that.’ And that’s how it got started of focusing more resources on this.”

With a few taps of the smartphone, people can broadcast live to family and friends or to the world over Facebook Live.

For viewers, the live video feeds offer a peek into intimate moments — grandparents delighting in a toddler’s first steps or distant friends tagging along on house-hunting tours — or into special events, such as astrophysicist Sara Seager answering questions about the solar system, gourmet chef Mario Batali whipping together recipes from ingredients suggested by viewers, Jennifer Lopez announcing her new single or Martha Stewart baking soft pretzels with Seth Meyers. As viewers watch, they can chat with one another in real time.

Facebook is placing big bets on 360-degree or “spherical” footage and live streaming — tempting new distractions to keep people glued to Facebook where they already lap up 100 million hours of video each day. At stake for Facebook: video ads that command higher prices and could position Facebook to crack open that big pot of dollars that marketers spend on television.

“Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday morning before the live video demo. “Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Live demo delayed – USA TODAY

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