Facebook, very likely unknowingly since the average age of a Facebook employee is like 23 years old, is taking a page from a very popular iconic 1982 shampoo commercial, featuring Heather Locklear (wearing a towel and seemingly just out of a shower), to tout its newest app, and instead of saying the shampoo name you just plug in the word 'video' and you'll know what Riff is all about.
For those who weren't born as of 1982, Faberge Organic shampoo's commercial had Locklear doing social networking the old fashioned way--talking with people face to face about something: "When I first tried Faberge Organic shampoo with wheat and honey it was so good I told two friends about it, and they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on and so on."
Now if that isn't the definition of today's Facebook, the world is spinning out of control.
But let's not digress too far from what Facebook's new Riff app is all about and how Facebook hopes to make big on video sharing.
Riff is a video app where someone makes a video, posts it on Riff, and then all their friends (via Facebook) jump in and add to it and then pass it on. It's sort of a digital video hot potato game.
Facebook calls it "Riff: Make Videos with Friends" and in a blog post announcing the feature states "having fun with friends is at the heart of the Facebook experience" and goes on to talk about how a few Facebook employees, after hours, worked on a side project and it evolved as Riff.
"Our hunch was that if you could make videos collaboratively, the creative process would be more fun and the final product would be cooler. Today, we are introducing Riff, a creative tool to make videos with friends," explains Product Manager Josh Miller in the blog post.
So this is pretty much how Riff works: You create a video, come up with a topic (i.e. #AprilFools) and then make sure all your friends can view it and add their own clips. Once a friend adds a clip, all that person's friends can then see the video and do the same. It's like some sort of rave video experience, or the game telephone with a video tweak. Or, Heather making a video and then sharing it with two friends, who share it with two friends, and so on and so on.
"The potential pool of creative collaborators can grow exponentially from there, so a short video can become an inventive project between circles of friends that you can share to Facebook, or anywhere on the internet, at any time," says Miller.
Oooh and there's the very real potential of your video then showing up in Facebook's Riff feature stream.
"We regularly feature awesome videos to show to people on Riff," states Miller.
So it may be wise to keep in mind that whatever you may add to the video could be shared with lots of other people not on your list of friends because Facebook makes it very clear this is not a private activity once you post it on Riff.
"Anyone can see your videos, but your friends can add to them, and then their friends can add to them, and then their friends... You get the picture!"
Seriously, those are the exact words from Miller.
To get started, you do have to download the Facebook app.
It may be worthwhile to check out the comments coming in about Riff and Facebook's new and latest way to get users to share. There are some glitches, some bugs, and some video uploading issues.
As one industry watcher notes, Facebook wants in on the video mania that is happening, describing Riff as a one-off app Facebook Creative Labs "is tossing against the wall in order to see what sticks."
"We don't know what a Riff is going to be good for, and our hunch is that we're going to learn from the best ones in the community," said Miller.
Well, given how well Faberge Organic did with its social network shampoo ad, Facebook stands a good chance at making viral videos another one of its domains.
Hey, maybe Locklear would be willing to make a Facebook video to get it on the map. Now that would make for a viral video.