Facebook and Comcast Interactive Media and are expected to announce a partnership to bring online video to the popular social network. The deal also includes a competition for users to have their personal videos included in a new Video-On-Demand (VOD) television show from veteran producer R. J. Cutler.
Facebook users who wish to include videos on their pages will now be allowed to do so by using Comcast’s online video site Ziddio, which launched last November . Once videos are uploaded users will be able to share and tag them much as they do other content within the Facebook ecosystem.
To raise awareness of the new deal, the companies plan to use content from Facebook users to produce a TV show. Beginning in late March the two companies will begin a series of ten two-week contests for videos on specific topics. Other users will able to view these submissions and rate them. From that footage the companies have askedR. J. Cutler (American High, Freshman Diaries) to produce Facebook Diaries, a new television series for one of Comcast’s VOD channels. The show will also be available on the Facebook as well as Ziddio.
The goal of the contest, which will be open to Facebook users of all ages, is to “get everything from very raw webcam, personal” kind of video to “polished, film school types of pieces ..” according to Elizabeth Schimel, Senior Vice President, Online Content Development at Comcast.
This is not the first content contest to be held by Ziddio; two other content contests with HBO and Endemol were announced last December.
Founded in 2004 and originally only for college students, the Facebook has become a coveted internet property with 16 million registered users, according to the company. In December it was ranked the 32nd most popular site in the U.S. by comScore Media Metrix.
Comcast declined to comment on any financial aspects of the deal, and a representative at the Facebook had not returned calls at press time.