Facebook is quite serious about its media efforts and recently brought in Ricky Van Veen, one of the co-founders of CollegeHumor. Van Veen will be joining the social media giant as the “head of global creative strategy” and will work towards influencing media organizations and other notable users to make more things to put on the platform.
Van Veen a Zuckerberg fan
Last year, Van Veen argued that Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful person on the planet, and now he is going to work for him. It appears that Van Veen will concentrate on getting more interesting things into Facebook’s Live Video and the 360-degree video format.
Van Veen is most popular as one of the founders of CollegeHumor, the website he started in 2000 with Josh Abramson and two other co-founders. They sold control of the company with other assets, including video site Vimeo, to Barry Diller’s IAC in 2006. Since then, Van Veen has been working at IAC on a variety of other media efforts, like the Electus content studio, which has made TV series, including NBC’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls and Food Network’s Chopped.
In a Facebook post, Van Veen wrote, “This essentially means that I’ll be working with all types of creators and organizations to figure out how best to use the biggest network in the world to better connect people with engaging and meaningful content.”
What will Van Veen do at Facebook?
Facebook is paying some media companies, including Vox Media, and celebrities to make Live Video. The social networking site is hoping that they will test and figure out compelling ways to use the format, and Van Veen will be helping them along.
At some stage, Van Veen and his new boss, Nick Grudin, Facebook’s content VP, might decide that the social networking site might want to invest in specific pieces of content rather than just sending money to content makers and allowing them to do what they want to do with it. Van Veen has built an extensive New York/Hollywood network, and this will help in his new job.
Also he appears to be quite taken by Zuckerberg. Last fall, Van Veen said the social media giant has gotten so big that it is easy to forget it is still completely controlled by a single 31-year-old human. He said the social media giant could materially impact the viability of most news publications with just one code push and could even block Fortune 500 companies from reaching their customers as efficiently as their competitors.