EZEvent

Ticketmaster's latest social media effort: Facebook tagging

By Alfred Branch Jr.

Looking to expand its social commerce efforts, Ticketmaster has begun helping fans find where their friends are sitting at events with a new Facebook interactive seat map application.

The app allows fans to tag themselves with their seat location on one of Ticketmaster's 9,000-plus interactive seat maps, and then friends can see where those seats are on Facebook. The maps maintain user privacy settings by allowing them to choose who can see where they're sitting.

Ticketmaster, which has aggressively embraced social commerce in recent months, is looking to make social interaction an integral part of its ticket-selling efforts as the company fights off a growing list of hungry competitors.

"Live events are inherently social, and leveraging social media to enhance them allows the passion to exist in the digital space before, during and after live events," Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard said in a statement. (See the video below.) "Our team is fanatical about leading the industry forward and we will continue to innovate the live experience."

The growing influence of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites in the ticketing industry cannot be understated, as virtually all major ticket sellers and resellers have incorporated social elements into their business models.

The Ticketmaster mapping app on Facebook resembles one recently launched by ticket search engine FanSnap that offers fans a similar look at where their friends are sitting. But instead of linking to Ticketmaster tickets, the FanSnap app links to offerings on the ticket resale market.

On the resale market, there is rarely a sellout because demand can often create supply as fans decide to sell their tickets to make money. Ticketmaster, however, may have to contend with fans looking for seats near their friends only to find an event is sold out, unless the event contains a link to its TicketsNow secondary ticket resale site.

"Events are among the most social of buying decisions so it is no surprise that FanSnap and others in the industry are embracing Facebook," Mike Janes, FanSnap co-founder and CEO, told TicketNews. "Social media usage makes it easy for fans to discover and decide between events. They can share their ever-changing event plans and see their friends' plans, which absolutely plays to the strength of the secondary market — allowing fans to buy tickets where they want, when they want."

David Fisch, who oversees Facebook's global commerce partnerships team, said in a statement, "Ticketmaster is taking an important step toward making every stage of the live event experience as social online as it is in real life. Ticketmaster's interactive seat map shows the promise of using social technologies to improve the event experience."

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