Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, has announced Nigerian Entertainment Today (theNETng), along with two other Nigerian brands, as partners to debut updates to its social plugins.
This announcement was made at the 2016 Facebook Developers’ Conference (F8) during a session titled creating high quality sharing experience, which was hosted by Facebook Product Manager, Alyssa Levitz and Engineering Manager, Brian Dewey.
The new Facebook features – Quote Sharer and Share Composer – were created to aid easier sharing of important nuggets of information from content publishers.
The NET website, which now sports a revamped new look, is now the first Nigerian entertainment platform with Facebook Quote Sharer functionality. This enables users to highlight text on the NET website and share directly onto Facebook via an instant on-page plugin. This feature will help publishers drive traffic back to their pages, while saving users the stress of capturing screenshots and having to crop out unneeded information.
Also, NET is now fully integrated with Facebook Instant Articles, becoming one of a very small number of African platforms and the very first Nigerian entertainment news publisher to be integrated in this manner, alongside global brands such as BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, National Geographic, NBC, and The New York Times.
In addition to the ease of content consumption and cost savings from reduced data usage, Facebook Instant Articles also gives THENETng users the distinct advantage of super-fast page loading as Facebook is reputed to open up to 10 times faster than external links on mobile devices. The move also benefits Facebook, which according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg increasingly sees its future as a mobile platform.
Furthermore, NET today announced that it will be joining the Facebook Free Basics Program which is part of Internet.org . Internet.org is a Facebook initiative to connect the billions of people who are not on the Internet today, considering the fact that for every 10 people that get online, 1 person gets lifted out of poverty because they have access to tools for education and finding jobs.
The Facebook F8 Event, which held in San Francisco, California, is a mostly annual conference organized by Facebook for developers, entrepreneurs and project managers who build products and services around the social networking platform. This year’s F8 Conference saw announcements of several important new features from Facebook such as Facebook Quote Sharer, Facebook Messenger Bot Platform, 3rd Party App Profile Videos and open access to Facebook Live among others.
Giving his thoughts on the announcement, NET founder, Ayeni Adekunle who was in San Francisco for F8 remarked,
‘This is a clear demonstration that we take user experience seriously, and that we are keen on putting social first. Technology is driving the future of media in more ways than anyone can imagine, and we are focused on using the opportunities therein to help our visitors connect better with one another and with the celebrities and events they care about.’
Launched on November 23, 2009, TheNETng provides celebrity news on the go to young Nigerians. Today, NET has become the world’s number one source for Nigerian entertainment with over 5 million users and 6 billion in cumulative views and retaining a formidable spot as a top 10 entertainment website in Nigeria since its inception in 2009.
NET reaches over 3 million young people across its social channels on a weekly basis with news, videos and photo stories, plus an additional 3 million page views on the website monthly.
NET is also behind Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC Live), the largest annual gathering of entertainment industry professionals as well as the successful NET Book series which has ‘A Very Good Bad Guy: The Story Of Innocent 2face Idibia’ and Nollywood writer, producer and director, Chris Ihidero’s ‘Wanderings of a Rapidly Degenerating Mind’ on its roster.
TheNETng has given birth to Newsroom.ng (a website that feeds real time local, regional and national news and views plus citizen-generated reports), Star.ng (a site dedicated to telling the stories of Nigerian celebrities, the lifestyle of trendsetters and urban youth culture), and Orin.ng (Nigeria’s first free music streaming site).
Fully aware of the importance of big data, the rapid growth and resounding impact of digital communication and the power of publishing, TheNETng has created and is currently working on projects and products that aim to not only benefit the platform but to also blur the lines between Africa and the global community.
Some of these projects and products include:
TheNET Shop – an e-commerce site that allows direct sales of event tickets, electronic and physical copies of books, albums, movies and merchandise;
NET Encyclopaedia – an IMDB-styled bio of key players in African and Nigerian entertainment with references and link-backs to past stories and features;
NETLive – livestream and broadcast of entertainment events going on in Nigeria;
NET Events Series – regular offline gathering/meet-n-greet of artists, fans and brands in locations around major Nigerian cities for networking, entertainment and fun.
NET Interviews – a special no-holds-barred interview series featuring celebrities, news makers, trend setters, and major players in Nigerian entertainment;
NET Funnies – a collection of original comedy content and funny videos, created by a team of NET writers and comedians
Already, videos from NET Funnies, NET Interviews and NET Lives have been viewed over 145 million times in the past year.