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Facebook Partners With ABC News for 24-Hour Convention Coverage

In an effort to provide in depth and around-the-clock coverage of both the Republican National Convention (July 18-21 in Cleveland) and the Democratic National Convention (July 25-28 in Philadelphia), ABC News and Facebook have announced a partnership that promises audiences a revolutionary experience in social media news coverage.

The deal grants ABC News exclusive real-time data and user-generated content from Facebook to utilize as part of its 24-hour live convention coverage, which will be available for streaming on the news site’s Facebook page. Reporters covering everything from speeches to protests throughout the duration of each convention will be able to incorporate user comments or questions as part of the correspondence.

“Our livestream strategy is all about bringing users a wide variety of unique moments they may not otherwise see on television,” says vice president of digital for ABC News, Colby Smith. “For the conventions in particular, Facebook Live is the perfect platform to reach and engage with our audience, delivering a 360-degree perspective of what’s happening on the ground.”

For its part, Facebook describes the tactic as “innovative” and demonstrates the power of social media to circulate content at speeds previously unimaginable. As Todd Spangler writes for Variety, it “underscores how critical social media has become for traditional news orgs to reach audiences.” Companies of all types must increasingly use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to appeal to consumers, generate traffic, and increase brand awareness.

While other networks, including PBS, C-SPAN, and Fusion all plan to similarly use Facebook Live’s streaming capacity to deliver content, the official collaboration with Facebook gives ABC News a competitive advantage while bolstering the social media company’s profile as well.

“With this partnership,” says Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships, “Facebook will further solidify itself as the place where people across the political spectrum come to connect with their friends and family and watch democracy in action.”




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