Facebook’s R&D group, NPE team is on a roll. In what would mark the third app from NPE within one week, the team has announced the launch of a new app that “brings passionate fans and expert commentators together to experience live events in a new interactive way,” under the name- Venue.
The platform will allow users to view live events, including sports, in real time, while communicating and engaging with celebrities(and other viewers), all at the same time. The app will be in competition with Twitter, which is currently the leading app for interaction during live events. However, Venue will stand out in a very big way. The app will allow users to view these events with “Expert commentators” which will include personalities, such as journalists, current or former athletes, or aspiring “fan-analysts.”
These experts will provide their take on the events, and at the same time pose questions and start interactive polls. They can also open up little chats, in constraints, to engage conversation with the community. However, public commentary is not the main focus of the app. Think of Venue like a live podcast. You will be able to make comments, but it won’t be you making the content.
Expert commentators will also be able to create “Moments” which are essentially “short-lived digital opportunities for fans to connect — whenever they think something memorable or interesting is happening on the track.” Fans will be notified whenever a new moment is captured, so that they can opt to go in and out of Venue, if they will to do so. “With Venue, fans can stop scrolling or searching to find the exact moment everyone is reacting to,” Facebook said.
Facebook highlighted the need for an app like Venue by saying, “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.”
The first event for Venue will be held this sunday, in form of a NASCAR race. NASCAR has been one of the first live events to resume after COVID, and Facebook is leveraging the opportunity presented by the changing market, as audiences are still not allowed in the stands.
“We’re excited to announce Venue’s first sports partner, NASCAR. NASCAR has been one of the first sports to return to live action in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With fans currently unable to attend races, Venue is an excellent way for people to experience NASCAR together and share in all of the high-octane action,” Facebook said.
Tim Clark, SVP and Chief Digital Officer at NASCAR said, “As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, 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.”
This is the third app launched by the NPE team this week. The team also launched “CatchUp“, an audio calling app with a simple interface which lets you know when someone is ready to receive calls, and “Collab“, an app that lets users create music with friends in real time. All the apps designed by the NPE team are experimental, and thus, susceptible to changes. They have also been made available for just US users as of yet.