Facebook hires CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen to boost video

facebook taps collegehumors ricky van veen to work his viral magic on its video business fb
Ricky Van Veen/Facebook
Facebook is adding a new exec to its team in the form of internet video trailblazer Ricky Van Veen.

The co-founder of wildly successful viral video site CollegeHumor, Van Veen will take up the newly created position of “head of global creative strategy” at the social network.

The elaborate job title essentially translates as a senior production role in Facebook’s video department. According to Van Veen, it will involve working with media companies and creators to produce more engaging video content. These clips will likely be produced for the existing Facebook Live, and 360-degree video formats, reports Recode.

“I actually think that in terms of Facebook’s opportunity to leverage great content (specifically video) to the right audiences, things are just getting started,” writes Van Veen in a Facebook post. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that opportunity ahead.”

Since selling CollegeHumor to IAC in 2006, Van Veen established a TV production company known as Notional for the media conglomerate. Consequently, he was involved in the creation of several television series, including the hit Food Network show Chopped, and NBC’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

Facebook hasn’t elaborated upon the specifics of the role, but it may not be altogether impossible to assume that Van Veen was hired because of his large network of media contacts. It’s not hard to imagine that the web video wunderkind could even use his connections to produce Facebook’s first slate of original content.

The social network is already paying media companies, such as BuzzFeed and Gawker, to use its live-streaming feature. It will also be well aware of the success that original programming has brought to video streaming giants YouTube and Netflix. Having straddled both the web and TV, Van Veen seems like the ideal candidate to emulate that form of addictive content for his new employer.

For Van Veen himself, the main challenge will be to work under his new boss, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a man he once described as an ominously powerful individual.


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