The American presidential debates are crucial to the voting public since the outcome could tip the scale running up to the elections. This is where candidates come face to face with each other and assert their stand on issues common to all, and where they will need to impress viewers.
This year, Facebook wants to be at the center of the action.
The social media company and ABC are teaming up to make sure folks online can easily tune into the presidential elections later this year. As most should know by now, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in three debates in hopes to become the next president of the United States.
ABC is planning to take advantage of Facebook Live's interactive experience to give the debates some spice. The company wants to air the reaction from viewers and, no doubt, there will be some interesting ones for ABC to focus on.
Facebook is not the only social network leader to provide live streams to users. Twitter is doing the same thing, and YouTube, the Google-owned entertainment video platform, has also joined in the race.
"As we move further into the election cycle, there continues to be a voracious appetite for live content and we know many users turn to Facebook to engage and participate in the conversation," said Colby Smith, vice president of digital at ABC News.
Opening the doors for social networks to get involved in the presidential debates is a solid move to democratize access to information and intelligent opinion. The initiative should give more people, especially the cord cutters, a reason to tune in and take part.
Bear in mind that this is not just a deal for airing the debates. ABC has plans to showcase its original show "Straight Talk" hosted by Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson.
As it stands, the network will produce and distribute the content, while Facebook will be tasked with providing insights on trending keywords and other relevant information the network might want to use.
The first debate is expected to take place on Monday, Sept. 26, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The second debate will take place on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis. As for the third, it is expected to take place on Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Millennials might do well to watch the debates online because recent reports have shown that they like to waste time at work on social media.