Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team has rolled out a new app called Venue, which aims to provide an interactive second-screen experience for live events. To be absolutely clear, the app wasn’t designed to livestream the events it features. Instead, it will serve as home for “venues” hosted by expert commentators, such as journalists, current or former athletes and analysts, which fans can enter while an event is ongoing.
Since the app was created so that fans can split their attention between the event and their phones, hosts can ping guests whenever something important or memorable is happening. They can do so by creating and posting “Moments” in their venues in the form of commentaries, interactive questions, polls and short chats. In a way, it’s like following live tweets by an expert. “With Venue, fans can stop scrolling or searching to find the exact moment everyone is reacting to,” the NPE team explained.
Venue is the third app the NPE team has launched this week. And just like the previous two — a collaborative music video creation app and another for voice-only group calls — it could serve as a way to connect with friends and like-minded individuals while staying at home due to COVID-19. Facebook has teamed up with NASCAR for Venue’s launch, making this Sunday’s “Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500” race the first event in the app. Social media personality nascarcasm will host a venue for it.
NASCAR is one of the first sports to return to live action, though fans still won’t be able to see races in person. Tim Clark, NASCAR’s SVP and Chief Digital Officer, believes Venue “will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes.”