Facebook clearly sees video as its future, be virtual reality, 360-degree immersive or live streaming. So it makes a lot of sense to bring on someone who made their entire career around creating a video network.
On Wednesday, Ricky Van Veen, the co-founder of media company CollegeHumor, announced that he is joining Facebook as its new Head of Global Creative Strategy.
Basically his job will be to work with get the best contest, specifically video, onto the site, signing up the best talent in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
“This essentially means that I’ll be working with all types of creators and organizations to figure out how best to use the biggest network in the world to better connect people with engaging and meaningful content,” he wrote.
“The easy joke is that I’m continuing a career in startups and really getting in on the ground floor at Facebook. But I actually think that in terms of Facebook’s opportunity to leverage great content (specifically video) to the right audiences, things are just getting started.”
Van Veen founded CollegeHumor back in 2000, and has been an executive with IAC since that company bought his site in 2006. According to his LinkedIn profile, Van Veen’s responsibility has been to “Oversee the creative side of the digital media, film, and TV businesses. Run Notional, the unscripted TV production company.”
He will be officially leaving IAC at the end of June.
Having someone like Van Veen, who is able to corelate talent to the site, could help Facebook as it fights against rivals like Snapchat and Twitter for supremacy.
That includes Snapchat, which passed Facebook it in the number of daily views in April, when it reached10 billion Snapchat. Facebook, by contrast, sees 8 billion video views a day. To be fair, the company has not updated the metric from the third quarter of 2015, and the most recent number is from November of last year.
Facebook has also been battling in the video realm with Twitter, specifically over live streaming, since Twitter bought Periscope.
In April, Facebook introduced a slew of new features to enhance its live video capabilities, turning itself into what can only be described as a live video hub.
That included users being able to broadcast live videos to Facebook Groups and Events, as well as Live Reactions, which let users show how they feel about a broadcast in real-time, using the same Reactions that the company launched in February.
The company also introduced Live Filters, which will let users draw or doodle on your video while live. These are coming soon; The ability to send an invitation to a friend to watch live video with you; and Facebook Live Map on desktop, so users can see what live videos are trending all around the world.
If Facebook really wants to become the premiere video network, getting top talent would be a great way to separate it from the pack.
(Image source: socialmediaweek.org)