Yesterday, “watermelon” ended up trending a few places on the internet. Now, it is the studied opinion of the author that there is never a BAD time for watermelon and it should be trending basically constantly. But early April is not quite watermelon season, and so some explanation might be necessary. And that explanation is that Buzzfeed and Facebook got together for a massive test of the new Facebook Live feature that involved two Buzzfeed employees stretching rubber bands around a watermelon until it burst. It took 45 minutes with a 100 band head-start. As of 10:15pm ET Friday night, the full video has over 6.2 million views. More than 800,000 people watched it live, most of them probably in that sweet 18-45 advertising demographic.
Mostly the point of this is to let you know why people were suddenly talking about watermelon a whole bunch yesterday. Here’s the full run down of the events on Buzzfeed including the blisters endured by brave Buzzfeed employees in the name of destroying fruit with 7th grade science. But it’s also interesting to note that this is Facebook stepping into territory currently occupied by Snapchat and Periscope, as well as a new kind of streaming television service. With streaming entertainment on the rise overall, it makes sense that an organization with a customer base as large as Facebook’s would try and get a piece of the pie. Live, streaming television events could be the way they do it. Almost a million people ended up tuning in to watch a watermelon explode, what kind of numbers could they pull with a more exciting event?
(There’s another interesting conversation here where “television” used to refer to a device and now refers to a medium but I’m not prepared for that right now. Let me do some more research and get back to you in a week or so.)