If you want viewing enhancement during this Sunday’s Golden Globe ceremony, Facebook wants you.
For the first time, the social networking giant will have a major presence at the glitzy awards ceremony, via “The Facebook Lounge”–an area on the red carpet where stars can record videos of themselves answering fan questions. The videos will then be uploaded to the Globes’ Facebook page, as well as the NBC and Today Show Facebook pages. (And, Facebook hopes, celebs’ own pages.) Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram will be setting up shop backstage, where fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth will be taking winners’ photographs as they walk off stage. Those will be uploaded onto the Globes’ Instagram account; some will even be broadcast during the show.
The move marks Facebook’s new, aggressive push to win over Hollywood, a strategy that rival Twitter has been effectively pursuing for years. (It’s no coincidence that Ellen DeGeneres’s famed Oscar selfie went out as a tweet–Twitter savvily partnered with both Samsung and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year.)
It also shows how Facebook is touting its enhanced video capabilities and encouraging stars (and normal people, too) to use the platform to post more than just photographs. A few days ago the social behemoth revealed new stats showing how video is taking off on the platform. Among the stats: Video posts per user are up 75% around the world and 94% in the U.S. over the past year.
The main point, of course, is to prove that Facebook is an awards show companion to advertisers. That’s not an easy argument for Facebook to win, which isn’t as obviously suited for real-time viewing–and Facebooking–but the company is working hard to change that perception and prove that it is as much about live events and news as any other social media company. The push to woo Hollywood stars and other members of the industry has been particularly robust over the past year and is being led by Los Angeles-based Sibyl Goldman, a Hollywood veteran who was hired in February as head of Facebook’s entertainment partnerships. Under Goldman, Facebook has seen many more Hollywood stars using the platform, perhaps most notably Jerry Seinfeld and Reese Witherspoon.
Expect Facebook to storm the Oscars this year, too. And if host Neil Patrick Harris takes a selfie, don’t assume he’ll tweet it.