Arab News partners with Facebook to broadcast Ramadan prayers from Makkah

Arab News, the Riyadh-based regional English-language newspaper, has partnered with Facebook to broadcast prayers from Saudi Arabia during Ramadan. (AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Arab News partners with Facebook to broadcast Ramadan prayers from Makkah

  • The newspaper will carry the Taraweeh prayers — the additional evening prayers performed during the Islamic holy month
  • These videos will be available in real-time on Arab News’ newsfeed in conjunction with Facebook

RIYADH: Arab News, the Riyadh-based regional English-language newspaper, has partnered with Facebook to broadcast prayers from Saudi Arabia during Ramadan.
The newspaper will carry the Taraweeh prayers — the additional evening prayers performed during the Islamic holy month — live from the Holy Mosque in Makkah.
These videos will be available in real-time on Arab News’ newsfeed in conjunction with Facebook and the Saudi state-owned television as part of the newspaper’s wider coverage during Ramadan.
“Our partnership with Facebook will allow our audiences across the world — who perhaps couldn’t make it to Makkah for the Muslim holy month — to capture some of the spirituality of Ramadan as we live broadcast the Taraweeh prayers from the Holy Mosque every night,” said Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
“Other Ramadan-related coverage will include human stories from the Middle East and beyond, as Muslims across the world together celebrate this important month of fasting, prayer and reflection.”
Fares Akkad, Facebook’s head of media partnerships in the Middle East,Turkey and Africa, also welcomed the partnership.
“We work with publishers and broadcasters to offer specific tools and features to help engage people around the programming that matters most to them and the content they love to share with friends,” Akkad said.
“Our partnership with Arab News gives people access to a live experience on Facebook that is immediate, authentic and interactive.”
The Ramadan videos will be broadcast via the newspaper’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheArabNews while readers will find wider coverage at www.arabnews.com.


Facebook makes reality TV its new weapon for web supremacy

Updated 17 October 2018
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Facebook makes reality TV its new weapon for web supremacy

  • The company’s head of video Paresh Rajwat said Facebook Watch was now available across the world
  • MTV boss Chris McCarthy predicted that Facebook Watch was going to “create a whole a new genre of shared reality TV”

CANNES: Facebook said Wednesday it was reviving the pioneering MTV reality show “The Real World” as its secret weapon to lure viewers away from YouTube.
The social media giant said it was also trying to harness the formidable online power of the “cute kitten” factor with a new show called “World’s Most Amazing Dog” on its new Facebook Watch platform.
Users who think their pooch is cute enough to be a contender can enter audition videos from their phones, it told TV executives at MIPCOM in Cannes, the world’s top entertainment showcase.
The company’s head of video Paresh Rajwat said Facebook Watch — which began to be rolled out in the US last year — was now available across the world, with “the time people spend on it increasing by 14 times since.”
“The Real World” was one of the first “social experiment” TV reality shows when it aired in 1992, spawning others like “Big Brother.”
It turns on the moment when “seven strangers put together stop being polite and start being real,” said Facebook’s content and strategy chief Matthew Henick.
Three versions of the new Facebook variant of the show will be launched simultaneously in the US, Mexico and Thailand.
Users will be able to “co-watch with their friends and interact with the contestants,” stealing a march on its Internet rivals, Henick told the gathering in the French Riviera resort.
Rajwat said Facebook Watch was “completely open” and was already being used by broadcasters, with new contestants on Germany’s “X Factor” recently being introduced to fans on the platform before they made their TV debuts.
He said its interactivity means “watching videos doesn’t have to be a passive experience... with friends able to co-watch together in real time.”
A new service called “Watch Party” allowing “people to watch and comment all at the same time” has already been used on celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s “Veggie Challenge,” he added.
A Facebook Watch show called “Sorry For Your Loss” about a “young widow struggling to put her life back together has led to long meaningful conversations about dealing with grief,” Rajwat said, with many users “offering help to people who lost their beloveds. This is where Facebook is different,” he said.
MTV boss Chris McCarthy predicted that Facebook Watch was going to “create a whole a new genre of shared reality TV,” and help shows lift off when it was “harder and harder to break through with more and more content” out there.