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Facebook hires ex-MTV head of development in latest hint it's going after TV

Mashable | Ariel Bogle | Thursday, Feb 9, 2017

Photo: Reuters

Time to be worried TV execs: Facebook seems to be getting serious about original programming.

On Facebook (where else?), Mina Lefevre announced Wednesday she would be joining the company as its new head of development. Formerly executive vice president and head of scripted at MTV, Lefevre said she was excited to embark on the "new adventure."

"I have always been drawn to the idea of building something and the idea of being part of the team that helps build Facebook's original content ecosystem...well, that just seems like a dream!" she wrote.

Her hire is the latest sign Facebook's getting serious about hosting original programming. In late January it flagged that long videos that managed to hold viewer attention would get a "slight" priority in the newsfeed, and it's reportedly looking at creating a video app for set-top boxes that would host premium content.

Of course, this also comes after it paid brands like BuzzFeed (and Mashable) to create live video for the platform.

Lefevre will join CollegeHumor cofounder Ricky Van Veen at Facebook, who started as head of global creative strategy with the company in mid-2016.

"We're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook," Van Veen told Business Insider in December.

Facebook will have rivals in this space, though none that are able to match the company's dollars or user base. Snapchat's parent company Snap, shortly set to go public, also has TV-style ambitions.

Snap recently wooed Michael Lynton away from Sony's entertainment division, and has invested in original programming on the app, including the political show Good Luck America.

Facebook has been approached for comment.

Read the full article here.


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