FB Bandstand will have purely organic content: Saurabh Doshi

Facebook has launched Bandstand, an integrated space that combines art with technical support to facilitate Facebook Live interactions. Facebook’s office in Mumbai is often visited by artists and celebs from across the spectrum and the Facebook team engages with visiting artists and creators to help them learn about and experiment with new products and features such as Facebook Live. That’s how the idea of creating FB Bandstand came about. 

On the launch of FB Bandstand, Saurabh Doshi, Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook, said, “Artists and celebrities from across the world and India are using Facebook Live to connect with their fans, interact and engage in real time in an authentic and refreshing way. FB Bandstand is a unique space for talent to be able to go live easily in a creative and fun way when they visit FB office in Mumbai. We hope we get to view many fun and memorable moments created at FB Bandstand.” 

The room, FB Bandstand, has been designed keeping in mind the creativity, imagination and craftsmanship of local artists, which is reflected in each wall which have its own independent theme, thus also attempting to provide a variety of shoot backgrounds. 

The first wall that greets the eye is the ‘Garden Wall’, which captures the scenery of a garden with a rolling view of the outdoors created through a layered style of depth painting. Combined with other 3D elements, it provides the subject a calm, easy going and candid ambience, that one normally experiences while being in the lap of nature. 

The second wall is ‘Origami Art Wall’, which has interconnected floral patterns interspersed with small origami pyramids that give the impression of golden sun light reflecting on them. 

The third wall opposite to this is the ‘String Art Wall’ that shows a colourful burst of musical and other audio-visual instruments flowing across frames, depicting how the experiences created by them are seamlessly available across mediums, for people to enjoy. 

Whether one is a movie-star, a sportsperson, an artist, musician or a journalist – celebrities and public figures have been using Facebook Live as a way to interact authentically with their fans. FB Bandstand is a step further in building Facebook Live as an interactive video format in a fun and refreshing way. 

The streaming feature of Facebook Live encourages #nofilter spontaneity with which viewers can enjoy real-time not just as spectators, but as a truly engaged audience adding their comments to the conversation or asking questions and even emoting along the stream’s timeline using the reaction buttons. 

Apart from providing ample choice of backgrounds, the focus is also to make available a simple array of equipment that allows one to explore various audio-visual formats of Live – from a simple camera phone to a multi-camera set-up that can be accessed easily. There is also a choice of various musical instruments and other props for artists to use.

In conversation with Adgully, Saurabh Doshi sheds more light on the idea behind FB Bandstand. 

Please tell us more about the kind of celebrity interaction that you will be having on FB Bandstand.
We are looking at various use cases. So many new things will be introduced going forward. The celebrities, or rather public figures, could be from across the spectrum. Another feature could be more institutionalised, for example, we could have someone to do a movie review of a new release every Friday after the first show opens in theatres from FB Bandstand. So, I am sure that a lot of use cases will come. Some people would want to shoot some shows or episodes from here or do a whole comedy series. Once we go out in the market, I am sure a lot of people will have various things. A lot of journalists nowadays also do live shows and for them the use case is amazing – whether it is covering from ground zero or breaking news, go Live and speak. 

What was the need to come up with FB Bandstand?
When people come to Facebook’s office, we felt that they wanted a cool and fun place to go Live, but we didn’t have too many options. The only option we had in the office was our Instagram Tiny booth. You may be aware that in Mumbai, Parsi and Irani restaurants are very popular, so we recreated this whole concept called Instagram Tiny, which is more like a Parsi bakery but all the characters are miniature ones. So, when someone sits there they feel larger than life. With so many public figures coming to our Facebook office, we felt we had to give them a little more, which would be a fun space with various shoot zones and changeable décor and props. So if it is about a movie promotion, then we could put posters of the movie or have cut-outs of the characters, etc. That would bring in a fun-filled element to things.

What would be your strategy to take this forward?
We have launched FB Bandstand just today (February 8, 2017). I am sure that once people come to know more about it, they will have more interest in coming and shooting here. We already have a lot of celebrities from across the spectrum lined up for this week and the next week to come and do various use cases.

What kind of competitive advantage will FB Bandstand have given the growing competition in the video-streaming space?
We obviously want to educate celebrities on being authentic, having fun while going Live, engaging strongly with the users as well as choosing the background for the Live session The person gets the real feel of the backdrop and has a more fun and meaningful experience here. Now that we have launched Facebook Bandstand, we will also look at newer things to explore around it – such as changing the style, the props, etc. 

Another factor is that it is not just about the bigger celebrities, but also a lot of niche ones as we are actually looking at catering to niche markets. Hence, it is really helpful for us to develop the whole ecosystem around Live and train people.

Are you planning for any kind of tie-ups with brands or broadcasters for FB Bandstand?
No. This is purely an organic and authentic engagement with the fans. But if the celebrity has a brand tie-up and they want to talk about it, then they could do so. There is also something called Branded Content. So, if a Live session or video has a lot of mentions and association with a brand, then they can tag the brand. For us, it is more of an organic content.


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