Facebook Bribing Celebrities to Post about the Super Bowl

Screenshot of a Facebook post by DeAngelo Williams

Screenshot of a Facebook post by DeAngelo Williams

If you are somewhat famous and looking for more exposure on Facebook, posting during Super Bowl XLVIII could earn you some free advertising. As the Seahawks and the Broncos battle it out on Sunday, Facebook will be boosting the posts of celebrities participating in its “Watch With” program, Re/code reports.

In order to compete with publicly visible networks like Twitter, Facebook has offered to promote the posts of participating celebrities in exchange for public posts during Sunday’s game. Posts can include pictures, videos and game commentary and will feature the hashtag #FBWatch.

Those participating include CNN anchor Rachel Nichols, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty and Titans cornerback Jason McCourty, among others.

To give you an idea of what is on offer at Facebook, Re/code has published an excerpt from a (Facebook-verified) pitch letter sent by Facebook to a talent agent this month. In exchange for five to 10 posts about #SB24, including pictures of viewing parties and commentary on the game, commercials or Bruno Mars’ halftime performance, Facebook will provide the following:

  • Amplified distribution on posts to your current FB Page fans via our internal organic and ad credit tools
  • Exposure to new FB fans including 1) Fans of SB athletes you mention in posts (e.g. mention Russell Wilson or Richard Sherman and we show the posts to those fans) and 2) Fans of SB teams you mention in posts (e.g. mention the Broncos and we show the posts to those fans)
  • Exclusive access to new FB Pages app to facilitate the posting via mobile and enable fan engagement
  • Press partnership to highlight your participation in “Watch With” program and your FB posts
  • Amplified promotion and features on Sports on FB Page

Boosting the posts of Facebook users who probably would have posted about the game anyway is a sweet deal for celebrities, but it doesn’t say much about Facebook’s competitiveness. For one, it’s a bit embarrassing that Facebook has to offer free advertising as an incentive for celebrities to post publicly to the site. Plus, if Facebook continues to place such a high emphasis on ads rather than on displaying content people actually subscribe to see, the network will eventually have to bow down to more democratic services like Twitter.

Will you be following Super Bowl XLVIII on Facebook?

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.