Social networks have already gained considerable traction from the early days of the election campaigns in 2008. The amount of Facebook status updates on Election night itself was so great, that a new partnership was in the works between CNN and Facebook and resulted in the most important web video event in history.
CNN.com LIVE partnered with Facebook to create an interactive live-streaming platform where viewers can watch the 2009 Presidential Inauguration live online, while also getting the chance to post their thoughts and interact with their friends via Facebook’s slightly redesigned social tool.
Some key components of this new platform:
- Four live-streaming channels documenting the day from various locations.
- Facebook Network Feed via CNN.com Live where Facebook users updated their statuses, viewed comments posted by everyone watching CNN.com LIVE, and also interacted with their Facebook friends by commenting on each others’ statuses.
- Commentary from CNN representatives and Facebook headquarters presenting social networking statistics and online behaviors to spark participation
- “Your Voice” function to share your thoughts with CNN as they posted and announced them throughout the day.
According to MediaWorks, CNN signed over 20 sponsors including Cisco, Exxon Mobile, and Starbucks for its two-day coverage of the event, which was the highest number of sponsors the network had for any one- or two-day event. However, the real winning brand from the CNN coverage was Facebook, who seamlessly and organically incorporated its brand’s technology and vision to create the “largest–and most social–live event in the history.” Continuous mentioning of Facebook throughout the CNN live coverage also affirmed the strength of the brand partnership.
Erick Schonfeld from TechCrunch.com posted Facebook stats as of 10:15AM PST/1:15EST:
- Number of status updates posted so far through CNN.com Live Facebook feed: 600,000
- Average number of status updates per minute during the broadcast: 4,000
- Number of status updates the minute Obama began his speech: 8,500
- Number of fans on Obama’s Facebook page: 4,000,000
- Number of wall posts on Obama’s Facebook page: 500,000
- Number of live streams CNN served between 6AM and 1PM EST: 18,800,000
- Number of live streams CNN served just before Obama’s speech: 1,300,000
While these numbers are tremendous and Inauguration Day would soon be over, this was only the beginning of something new and exciting despite economic turmoil. Just take a look at how many things we could look forward to:
- Experimentation with new marketing platforms as a result of articles, posts, comments on social network marketing implications behind the Inauguration. New York Times created a free Inaugural Facebook virtual gift. Pepsi encouraged people to submit YouTube “Dear Mr. President” videos. Twitter activity increased five times the normal activity and will be analyzing their data soon. And I’ve only named just a few.
ow CNN will sustain its Facebook partnership and tremendous audience engagement now that Inauguration Day will be over and won’t come back for another four years.
- Who Facebook will partner with next. MSNBC, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC and sports media for starters.
- And finally, the most tech-savvy President ever. Even Whitehouse.gov’s web 2.0 makeover (very similar to Obama’s Change.gov site) proves Obama’s commitment to use the web as a tool for transparency. Change is so in the air.
It is already 9:00PM EST, over 8 hours after the Inauguration Ceremony, and Facebook members are still updating their status via CNN.com LIVE. How amazing is that?
[Update on 1/21/09]
Check out Adage’s review of the Inauguration!