Facebook launches cinema ticketing platform
Facebook is partnering with cinemas on an in-app ticket booking platform as part of its ongoing efforts to re-engage users with "meaningful social interactions".
The ticketing platform launches in the UK today in partnership with ODEON, following the launch of a similar platform with AMC in the US last year.
Users will now be able to browse films, view showtimes and purchase tickets for all 109 ODEON cinemas across the UK directly from the social media platform, without having to leave the Facebook app.
“There are millions of people around the world already interacting with film-related experiences on our platform every day, and UK cinema admissions hit a record high in 2018," said Anna Higgs, head of entertainment at Facebook.
"The new Film features ensure that Facebook is the easiest way for you discover, plan and get tickets for your next cinema trip with your friends and family – which means we can all spend more time together at the movies.”
Facebook has reportedly said that it will not be taking a cut of ticket sales.
Re-orienting the Facebook user experience towards "personal moments" and away from content posted by businesses, brands and media was one of Facebook's "big focus areas for 2018", Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post in January last year.
"We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being," he added.
Meanwhile, despite record box office figures, the latest forecasts from AA/WARC predict a fall in advertising investment in cinema of -2.6% for 2018 as a whole - so experimenting with new ways to push tickets may be essential if the big screen is to make up for lost revenues.
Amy Miller, director of digital product & technology at ODEON added: "We want to make the ticket purchasing process as simple and accessible as possible for all of our guests, and we are pleased to further this through our exciting partnership with Facebook.”