Facebook has hired MTV’s executive VP, Mina Lefevre, to be its head of development. Formerly head of scripted programming and executive vice president at MTV, Lefevre said that she was excited to venture on the “new adventure.” She said that she has always been drawn to the idea of creating something, and being a part of the team that helps build Menlo Park’s original content ecosystem seems just like a dream.
The social networking giant has been working hard to make video a central part of how its users experience the platform. Last month, the company revealed that long videos that managed to hold viewer attention would obtain a slight priority in the newsfeed. Facebook is also looking at building a video app for set-up boxes that would host premium content. Forbes notes that while YouTube Red finds itself and Snapchat dawdles with the Discover tab, the social media juggernaut could really burn out a video niche.
According to Mashable, the former MTV executive will join College Humor cofounder Ricky Van Veen at Facebook, who started as head of global creative strategy with the firm last year. Van Veen said that the Internet giant is exploring funding some seed video content, including licensed and original unscripted, scripted, and sports content, that take advantage of the social interaction unique to the social titan.
Facebook poached the MTV executive in latest hint that it is seriously chasing original TV programming. What that TV-type programming will be or when it comes to fruition is however, still up for discussion. The initiative is the company’s latest effort to make the social network a video-first platform, after launching Live, and more recently building an app for TV boxes like Apple TV.
According to The Verge, at MTV, Mina Lefevre worked on shows such as Awkward, Nicole Byer, Sweet/Vicious, Faking It, Finding Carter, Teen Wolf, Mary + Jane, and The Shannara Chronicles. It will be interesting to see what Lefevre ends up developing for Menlo Park as it continues to make a major push into video.
The Zuckerberg-led social media firm will have competitors in this space, though none that are able to match Facebook’s user base or dollars. Snap Inc., parent company of ephemeral messaging platform Snapchat, also has TV-style ambitions. The startup led by CEO Evan Spiegel recently poached Sony Entertainment’s Michael Lynton, and has invested in original programming on the app.
Facebook hired the former head of scripted for MTV to create original content for the social network. As the company closes in on 2 billion monthly users, it has been looking to monetize its content and keep people engaged with the social networking platform. Introducing its own original TV programming would allow the Internet firm to sell ad space in a new territory.
By Anila Maring
Photo Courtesy MTV