How Facebook Is Integrating With Indian TV Shows To Engage With Fans In Real Time

The article focuses on how Facebook is working with Indian TV channels such as Colors, Bindass to engage with fans during live television shows.


All this while we’d known that the 140-character social network Twitter is the perfect fit for the idiot box, the television. The friendship between the two has yielded quantitative results in the past according to Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company.

In India, Twitter has enabled conversations related to specific TV shows and in a way Twitter evolved as the second screen or a companion device that allows a television audience to interact with the content they are consuming, such as TV shows, movies, music, etc.

Facebook which wishes to be a part of our every online and offline move, has been working with television channels in the country, in a bid to pose stiff competition for Twitter. With over 130 million monthly active users in the country, Facebook has been engaging with fans on its platform during live events.

The recent 2015 IIFA awards saw the best of performances and India’s most beloved celebrities from Bollywood steal away Indian hearts. But, what the IIFA awards also had in store this year was a live performance by Facebook.

This year, the IIFA awards got a lot more social. Facebook was on the green carpet to capture the best moments from the stars, presenters and attendees, while backstage, Instagram – the photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook – turned them upside down at the fun anti-gravity booth.

The sensational @shahidkapoor shows his funny side at the #Instagram anti-gravity booth. #IIFA2015

A photo posted by iifa awards (@iifaawards) on

Colors, the official broadcaster of the show this year teamed up with Facebook forIIFA 2015, the idea was to build anticipation for the main show to be broadcasted on the channel, as well as to bring rich experiences in real-time to its fans. Viewers not only got pre-glimpses of what they could expect on television but also behind-the-scenes specials shared via Facebook. On the green carpet, Facebook had a standalone Q&A booth where stars could stop and answer questions directly from Facebook fans. Celebrity blogger, MissMalini helped stars take up questions asked by their fans.

On the way down the carpet, the stars also had a chance to defy gravity (or at least pretend to!) with Instagram’s anti-gravity booth. The installation resulted in some pretty incredible photos, in which the celebs appear to be floating in mid-air. Colors also worked with Facebook to create special moments for fans. Moments after picking their trophies on-stage, winners could stop by the ‘Thank You’ station to say thanks to all of their Facebook fans. Using a ‘I forgot to thank’ card as a fun photo-op, many stars posed for some really candid captures.

For the ongoing celebrity dance reality show, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Reloaded’, Colors has once again integrated with Facebook for special interaction with contestants. The Facebook Van, a mobile vehicle introduced to the show on July 31, 2015, has been customized with elements from this season of ‘Jhalak Reloaded’. This Facebook Van gives fans a chance to interact with their favourite celebrity contestants through a giant TV screen. The interaction includes rapid fire questions, live Q&A, interviews and fun interactive videos.

“With ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’s reloaded look, we wanted a fresher digital presence. The Facebook Van has been a great tool to garner the attention of the fans online. The van will play an active role in bridging the gap between the audiences and the contestants. This initiative will surely make the contestants more accessible to the audience,” informedSapangeetRajwant, Marketing Head, Colors. The onscreen dance diva ScarlettMellish Wilson reveals her fun chirpy side off-screen in this rapid fire straight from the Facebook Van.

The latest channel to integrate specially the Facebook Van for a similar engagement is youth-centric Hindi entertainment channel Bindass. Following the Bollywood box-office success, Disney India is now looking to build on its ABCD (Any Body Can Dance) franchises by adapting it into a reality TV series.

‘Bindass Naach’, a weekly show that goes on air from this Independence Day weekend, is a journey of three young men – Shantanu, Macedon, and Nimit, as together they pursue their passion for dance and follow a collective dream of proving themselves at a world stage. The show has been produced by BBC Worldwide. The trio will themselves pick four other dancers to form the team of Desi Hoppers that will perform at the World of Dance tour in Los Angeles.

Commenting on the digital marketing activities for the show, Vijay Subramaniam, VP and Head – Content and Communication – Media Networks, Disney India, said that the show will weave social integration into the story. One of the activities for real-time interaction is tying up with Facebook for the van. “We premiere on Sunday and repeat all the way to Friday, and on Friday, we make the announcement at the end of every episode that if people want to chat with three guys, they can do so through the video bogs that will be covered live. We have 10 episodes so, you can interact for 30 minutes every Friday,” informed Vijay.

Apart from Facebook Van, the channel is integrating Snapchat and Periscope for on the go engagement with fans.

Not just Facebook, Twitter isn’t giving up in creating engagement on the go with fans. Twitter’s Periscope which allows to live stream is already working with Indian TV channels. The live streaming app that has more than 10 million users, was recently used by Star Plus to promote the finalists of celebrity dance reality show Nach Baliye 7 and also to popularize the title track ‘Mere Nishan’ of recently launched fiction show Badtameez Dil.

Recently Facebook too jumped into live streaming business with its celebrity only Mentions app. At the moment the feature is only available for public figures but very soon the app is going to open up for all users.

This is a big move by Facebook to give competition to dominant players like Twitter and Snapchat in the live video streaming space. Considering the fact that Facebook already reaches more than 1.3 billion mobile users globally, the social network could bring live streaming to the mainstream.

With its massive reach, Facebook could attract a truly global live audience that would give more stronger reasons for TV channels to integrate with the social networking giant.