BuzzFeed News teamed up with Facebook to deliver two live streams over the course of the UK election results, aiming to engage their digital-first, millennial audience.
The two shows, 'Election Live.. What Happens Now?' and 'Election Live TL;DR… About Last Night', streamed last night and early this morning (9 June) in order to capture people's attention as they scrolled through their Facebook newsfeeds.
"The first thing millennials do when they wake up is grab their smartphones and have a look at their social feeds, and we wanted to be there when they woke up," said Andy Dangerfield , social media editor, BuzzFeed UK.
"We thought about how our audience consumes media, and the majority of them are not going to stay up all night watching the results come in one-by-one, so we needed to get them quickly caught up with the results in the morning."
As soon as they woke up, those who follow BuzzFeed on Facebook received a notification to watch the three-hour live stream that started at 6am. The video was watched live by 1.15 million people.
"It felt fresh, fun and irreverent – on TV, other broadcasters tended to rehash the things they've done before with previous election coverage, but ours was completely new and involved lots more engagement," he said.
Although the coverage aimed to dissect the results as they unfolded, and give predictions and reactions, the publisher wanted to entertain its audience in a way that was not seen on traditional TV coverage from national broadcasters.
"We had celebrities that were very engaged in the youth vote, and they were able to talk to our audience and explain why it was so important."
The 90-minute 'Election Live.. What Happens Now?' had celebrity guests including rapper Tinie Tempah and social media influencers, while 'Election Live TL;DR… About Last Night' included humorous segments such as 'What’s Dimbleby doing?' and 'What’s happening on social?', along with live reaction polls and brunch cocktails.
BuzzFeed used its 'live sentiment tracker' for the second time after its EU referendum debate with David Cameron earlier this year, and users could use emojis in polls to show how they felt about different issues being mentioned.
The outlet plugged into Facebook's API, so they were able to incorporate pre-recorded packages into their live streams.
"A lot has happened in the news over the last six weeks, so we have been constantly reviewing the tone, structure and script of our offering.
"We didn't think it was appropriate to have a big, all-night party in light of the tragic events – even this week we were changing the length and content of the show to reflect on what had happened over the course of the campaign."
The shows were streamed from Facebook's HQ in London, so Facebook staff members were on hand in case any technical difficulties occurred.
"We had an army of people with us so nothing would go wrong – we had a second, third and fourth back up for everything," Dangerfield said.
"We have reporters that are great at thinking on their feet – we are able to adapt and throw all our energy into something."
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