Social Networking

Paramount Rolls Clips on Facebook

Paramount Pictures and developer FanRocket have teamed to bring Paramount movie clips to Facebook’s user profile pages. Using the third-party developer’s VooZoo application, available Monday, subscribers to the social networking site will have access to clips from a gamut of films including “Forest Gump,” “Mean Girls” and “Zoolander.”

“Facebook is a major distribution point on the Internet with so many users for different kinds of advertisers. There aren’t a lot of places you can get the kind of reach that you used to be able to get on prime time TV. Facebook has been very welcoming of third-party content and applications. It just makes a lot of strategic sense,” Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, told TechNewsWorld.

Do You VooZoo?

With the VooZoo application, Facebook members can post footage from Paramount movies and send them to other users on the site. The clips, called “Voohoos,” range in length from a single line of dialog to an entire scene, according to FanRocket. Users can collect as many Voohoos as they want, with the clips displayed on their profile pages.

With each Voohoo added to a profile or clip sent to a friend, VooZoo users earn V-points. The more points they have, the more films they can access.

Subscribers to the service initially receive 100 V-points; they then earn more points with each added clip. Different clips are worth varying points. Sending footage to a friend will earn one point, and when that friend opens the Voohoo, that earns users another point.

VooZoo users who want expanded access yesterday can purchase points via a PayPal account at 100 points per $1.

The service includes a link for users to purchase complete DVDs.

Third-Party Platform Win

VooZoo will like not cause someone without a Facebook profile to join the social networking site, but it could be sticky enough to keep current members on the site longer and could lead to other movie studios, such as Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, to make their clips available as well, said John Barrett, research director at Parks Associates.

“It sounds like a fun application to me. I suspect that if it gets significant traction, other providers will try to provide a similar service. You’ll see other studios offer their clips. It helps refresh the content a little bit,” he added.

Despite the fun factor, Barrett does not see VooZoo driving DVD sales or users to sites offering full-length versions of the movie online.

“That is a different usage scenario. It’s one thing to go to a friend’s profile page and they have a clip of Eddie Murphy driving the Ferrari and go, ‘Oh, yeah, that was hysterical.’ It’s quite something else to say, ‘Hey, that was such a great scene I’m going to spend the next two hours right here in front of my PC.’ It would be some kind of clip that would make someone do that,” he told TechNewsWorld.

The addition of VooZoo and the Paramount Pictures’ catalog of clips is another feather in Facebook cap, highlighting the wisdom of opening the platform to third-party developers, Sterling said.

“That was really a smart move — and that is an understatement — for Facebook to make. It’s obviously been widely embraced. Facebook is still evolving, and they are making the platform open. It has a considerable lead over OpenSocial, its competitor, and could become the de facto open platform that others use, and OpenSocial could be marginalized,” he told TechNewsWorld.

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