Facebook has announced yet another brand-friendly product that lets companies take advantage of the mammoth Facebook network effects. They’re calling it Live Stream Box
, and it’s intended to run alongside streaming video, games, presentations, and other web events. Users log into the Live Stream Box via Facebook Connect and their comments are published into the box as well as into their profiles and their friends’ activity feeds. The Facebook posts then link back to the Live Stream Box.
Using events as acquisition tools is a great energy generator, but unless companies use broadcast media to promote them, audience numbers are sometimes disappointing. Using the Live Stream Box in conjunction with Twitter, companies now have a good way to draw people in in real time to experience an event as it’s unfolding. Because the draw
mechanism involves people sharing with their friends, a built-in sociability supports it. Plus the centralized comments connect individuals to new people who share an interest, supporting community building around the brand, product, game or event.
The challenge will be to take the connections created by a Live Stream Box event and turn them into a retention
tool. Facebook Connect won’t provide email addresses, so the sponsoring event producer will need to program and participate in a way that channels people toward a continued connection—whether that’s a Facebook brand page, a private branded community, or some other venue where they can stay involved.
It's another useful innovation by Facebook that makes it more attractive for companies to get involved and stay involved with them as a component of a Web-wide marketing strategy.