White House Launches Facebook App to Let Viewers Interact with its Live Video Events

--Meanwhile, Discovery Taps Facebook Connect to Enhance New Forensics Show

In a posting on its official blog, Thursday, the White House announced that it is now offering a Facebook application in order to allow viewers to interact with and around the live streaming video events that it regularly organizes. The application embeds the White House live stream and allows viewers to comment on, ask questions about, and chat with one another about the event that is being streamed. Viewers' comments are shared with their Facebook friends, and viewers can also check a box that gives them the option of sharing them with everyone else who is watching the live stream.

The app was launched Thursday in conjunction with the latest in a series of live-streamed "Stakeholder Discussions" on reforming the US healthcare system that the White House has been organizing (both in the White House itself and at locations across the country) since the beginning of March. According to the White House, an aide from the White House Office of Health Reform kept track of the comments generated by the new Facebook application and informed participants in the "Stakeholder Discussion" of what viewers were asking and talking about. In addition, for non-Facebook users, the White House streamed the discussion on its own Web site, next to an online form that viewers could use to submit questions and comments.

In related news, cable/satellite channel Investigation Discovery announced Thursday that its new show, "Forensics: You Decide" (which is billed as showing how forensic science can lead "the prosecution and defense [to] reach two very different conclusions on what truly happened" and as "allow[ing] audiences to decide for themselves whom they believe"), will employ Facebook Connect to allow viewers to discuss and comment on each episode and to "argue their interpretation of the evidence from their very own Facebook page."

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