Facebook’s R&D group, NPE Team, has released a new live event tool called “Venue” which improves the second screen experience for people watching live events. With Venue, the company aims to bring passionate fans and expert commentators together to experience live events in a new interactive way, starting with Today’s NASCAR race.
The app provides interactive actions, while the live event is happening. It provides interactive questions, polls, and open up short chats all around the specific moments of the live event. “Despite drawing large concurrent viewership, live broadcasts are still a mostly solo viewing experience. Passionate fans are constantly seeking better ways to engage with other fans and experts around their favorite events. Venue aims to give fans an interactive second-screen experience, curated by experts and centered on the pivotal moments of their favorite events,” Facebook states.
Second-screening has become a key component of live events, especially sports organizations – according to Facebook research, 94% of people keep a smartphone on hand while watching live TV. Most of the social interaction platforms have been trying to figure out the best case (mostly to catch the moments simultaneously) for this, but the competition is still going on. “Venue is designed so that fans can split their attention between the race and their phones better than they can today. Venue does this by allowing commentators to create ‘Moments’ — short-lived digital opportunities for fans to connect — whenever they think something memorable or interesting is happening on the track. Fans are notified whenever a new Moment is created so that they can hop in and out of Venue if they want to,” Facebook states.
With the partnership with NASCAR, Facebook makes the sports organization the first to use the platform. Tim Clark, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, states that “Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe – all from the safety and comfort of their own homes. NASCAR was built on innovation, and we couldn’t be more excited to help a great partner like Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team innovate around new platforms.”
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 process has impacted live events loads upwardly, and Facebook’s experimental app division has released offerings in regards to that. Even this month, the team has released a music-making app called Collab and a group voice-calling app called CatchUp.