In what is the first Facebook Connect integration we’ve seen on YouTube (or any other Google-owned property for that matter), Coca-Cola Europe just recently launched a new “social interactive music show” called Green Eyed World. Interestingly, YouTube has significantly demoted the placement of the the standard comments module and replaced it with a very prominent Facebook Connect integration.
The show is about a 23 year old singer from London who is selected to go to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a music star. Once users log in through Facebook Connect, they can leave comments and votes to influence her decisions, and see a stream of their friends’ comments and votes as well.
“This interaction between YouTube and Facebook is the first of its kind,” Google’s Benjamin Faes, Head of YouTube & Display for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a release. “We are creating a new technology implementation with these platforms. At any time during Green Eyed World, viewers can comment or vote, creating a live dialogue between themselves, their friends and the hero. The video pauses, and a small window pops up where the interaction can take place quickly and easily”
As we’ve documented before, content producers are finding that Facebook Connect can increase the authenticity of user comments and community. Users logging in with their real identities are less likely to leave lower quality comments as commonly happens on YouTube, which is especially valuable in the case of branded content.
In addition, Facebook Connect’s ability to share content back into users’ profiles and their friends’ news feeds can be a powerful driver of traffic. Facebook sent more traffic to Perez Hilton than Google did in January, and video sites are currently some of the most popular Facebook Connect integrations.
Despite the fact that Google founded the OpenSocial movement and is building its own competing product in Google Friend Connect, YouTube opened up and partnered with Facebook for the Coke integration. While the companies still have some unresolved questions about the way Google Friend Connect itself works with Facebook, the presence of Facebook Connect on YouTube is part of a bigger initiative on YouTube’s part to be more flexible with content partners and brands, and is a good sign for Facebook Connect.
As Liz Gannes over at NewTeeVee writes, “YouTube is showing increasing flexibility about what partners and sponsors can do on its pages, allowing CBS and ESPN to embed their video players of choice on its pages. Enabling Facebook Connect more broadly could be a very effective and appealing next step.”
Green Eyed World is directed by Tony Valenzuela, who previously worked on “America’s Next Top Model,” “CSI: Miami,” and “The Closer.” It is being produced by Austria-based FFP.