Facebook's Joanna Shields addresses Cannes

Social networking is transforming the media marketplace

CANNES -- Business: that's what "friends" are for according to Facebook's vp EMEA Joanna Shields who logged into MIPCOM on Tuesday with a keynote speech focusing on the influence of social media on the global entertainment biz.

Facebook boasts more than 500 million users all over the world and, as Shields pointed out, if Facebook were a country, it would be third in the world behind China and India in terms of population.

"People are so invested in Facebook because they can create it themselves and make it theirs," Shields said.

Shields said that 30% of audiences are logged into Facebook while watching their favorite shows. So what can the entertainment biz do to reach out to such a widespread "Facebook nation" of people? "What can we do to excite and delight the people formerly known as the audience?" Shields asked MIPCOM attendees.

"Facebook is transforming brand marketing," Shields said as she talked about how TV companies can use the social networking phenomenon to both attract and hold on to audiences. "One of the most powerful things about Facebook is that we allow websites to bring Facebook to their site," she said, also pointing out that event ads and reminders, engagement formats and polls are also effective in pulling audiences in and keeping viewers updated on their favorite programs.

However, even as social networking continues to transform the media marketplace and pull viewers from the small screen to their web screens, Shields said that "There's no substitute for great drama."

They keynote came just in time for David Fincher's feature film about Facebook "The Social Network" which just took in $23 million at the box office stateside over the weekend before it rolls out across the globe -- to the cyber-country known as Facebook and other territories worldwide.
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