Facebook’s Watch tab has been a bit of a flop. The new video platform, designed to showcase professionally produced shows, hasn’t really taken off at all but Facebook is not giving up on it just yet. We recently told you about the first of Facebook’s funded news shows, and now Facebook has released details of a cool new initiative that could bring more interactive content to Facebook. Even better, interactive content that could see you winning real cash prizes.
If you think this sounds a little like the trivia game show apps that became sort of a big deal at the beginning of the year, you’d be right. Rather than building their own app to compete against the likes of HQ Trivia, Facebook has decided to launch an entire platform to make it easier for content creators everywhere to broadcast interactive game shows on Facebook. If you’re a content creator and publisher and think this is something you could do you can sign up for early access here.
Facebook believes that video doesn’t have to be a one-way, passive experience and it isn’t alone. With Netflix recently announcing that it is going to start streaming video games, how we consume media could be about to get a major overhaul. Netflix wants to start offering us stories with choices, along the lines of the extremely popular Telltale Games franchises. Facebook, however, has a slightly different idea:
“Today, we’re announcing new ways for creators and publishers to create interactive videos. We’re starting with polling for both Live and on demand videos, as well as gamification for Live. With these tools, our partners can add a range of new interactive features to videos such as: polls, quiz questions, challenges, and more. These can all be used within an individual video or to create a standalone game show.”
These changes aren’t exactly revolutionary, but they mark a good start if Facebook is going to take people away from passive viewing experiences. Passive consumption of too much social media content can be harmful to users.
Polling works similarly to how we see polls working on regular shows already. It allows show creators to gauge public opinion on various elements of their content and could potentially shape the direction they’ll take with future content.
Gamification for live broadcasts will bring in the sort of elements we’ve seen popularized by the gameshow apps we’ve already mentioned. Facebook sees massively multiplayer game shows taking place or even head to head battles between different shows and their respective super fans.
The key here is that Facebook is opening up a new avenue for content creators to explore and has even announced the first partnerships, along with details of the shows they’ll be creating:
- “Confetti by INSIDER: A live interactive game show made in partnership with INSIDER that will air daily. It will challenge people to answer pop culture trivia questions alongside — and with the help of — their friends. Players can see which friends are playing at the same time, and be able to see how friends answered questions. Players who answer all questions correctly may be eligible to split a cash prize.
- Outside Your Bubble by BuzzFeed News: An all-new game show made in partnership with BuzzFeed News that challenges contestants to step outside their “bubble” and reach across the cultural divide to guess what their opponents on the other side are really
- What’s in The Box by Fresno: A live and participatory game show, made in partnership with Fresno, where viewers can win prizes for correctly guessing the contents of a closed box. It’s simple. It’s goofy. It’s tons of fun.”
These opening shows on Facebook’s new platform will be coming to the social network in the next few weeks, but Facebook promises there will be many following later on.