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Chewbacca Mom Is Just the Beginning
By: Contently
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On May 19, Candace Payne, now better known as “Chewbacca Mom,” live-streamed herself on Facebook as she tried on a Kohl’s brand Chewbacca mask. Three weeks later, she’s received a free trip Disney World, driven around with J.J. Abrams and James Corden, and collected what could amount to $400,000 in scholarships for her kids.

It’s been a whirlwind month, and it all started with an infectious laugh, a smartphone, and a new version of Facebook—one that threatens to upend the traditional landscape of how content flows on the internet.

In the past, Facebook posts rarely went viral. That’s changing, and Chewbacca Mom is the most high-profile example yet. As Facebook continues to transition away from a social network and becomes a content network in order to attract advertiser money, as I’ve argued previously, creating the conditions to foster viral hits like Chewbacca Mom is a top priority.

At the core of the transition is Facebook’s native video player, which has grown exponentially since its launch back in 2014. Before, Facebook was a space to post clips from YouTube and other video services. Now, external clips from YouTube and elsewhere are “freebooted” onto Facebook’s native video player, which has all but neutralized the effectiveness of referral links. The native video player has also given rise to its own forms of content such as BuzzFeed’s incredibly popular Tasty and Handy channels, which have shown that 60-second videos that don’t require sound fit perfectly into the Facebook feed.

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About the Author
This article was first published by Contently.com. A link to the original can be found at the bottom of the post. www.contently.com
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