Guidelines Updated on Usage of Music in Facebook Live, Instagram Live Videos

The social network recommends shorter clips, saying full-length recorded tracks up the chances of being flagged

In-product notifications will surface earlier during live videos Facebook
Headshot of David Cohen

Usage of Facebook Live and Instagram Live has been on a steady upward swing since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and, with music being incorporated into many of those videos, the social network provided an update on its guidelines.

Facebook said in a blog post, “Music is a bonding force in normal times. During difficult and isolating times like this, we know it can be even more important. As social distancing has forced everyone to stay apart, more people have turned to Instagram and Facebook Live to stay connected with their communities. This rapid rise in usage has created a lot of good during this crisis—raising money for frontline workers and underserved communities, driving awareness of healthy habits, encouraging people to stay safe by staying home and bringing people together through new forms of entertainment. But it’s also highlighted some confusion across the community, especially around the use of recorded music in Live on both Facebook and Instagram.”

There are no limits on usage of music in Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories, or when traditional music performances are captured, such as streaming a live artist or band.

As for Live videos on both platforms, the social network recommended shorter clips of music, saying that videos with full-length recorded tracks were more likely to be flagged.

Facebook added that videos should always contain a visual component, and not be used solely as a way to share recorded audio.

The social network said these guidelines are consistent across all videos on both platforms, live or recorded, and all types of accounts (pages, profiles, verified accounts and unverified accounts).

Licensed music from Facebook is available in more than 90 countries, but recorded music may not be available for use in videos from countries that are not yet supported.

The social network also reiterated that its Sound Collection provides a library of custom music and sound effects that are available to everyone at no cost, with thousands of tracks spanning genres including country, hip-hop, jazz and pop.


On the enforcement front, Facebook said it is improving its in-product notifications to alert people when its systems detect music that doesn’t comply with its licensing agreements in their live or uploaded videos.

Those notifications are being made clearer and, in the case of live videos, will surface earlier so that people can adjust and avoid interruptions.


When videos are muted or blocked, the creators of those videos will also receive clear information on actions they can take to restore their content.

The social network said in its blog post, “With these improvements, we look forward to people, artists and creators continuing to use music to share and bond with each other across our platforms. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our music partners to enable people to build community with music in new ways and, especially during this time, we’re working together to maximize people’s ability to express themselves through our products.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.