Facebook movie ads will now feature the ability to look up showtimes and buy tickets, in addition to getting reminders about premieres, The Verge reported on Wednesday (Aug. 14).
When a movie comes across users’ news feeds, they have the option of hitting the “Interested” button to get a notification when the movie is in theaters. Users can also lookup showtimes and buy tickets.
Facebook partnered with AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas to offer the new service in the U.S. and U.K. U.S. moviegoers can make purchases through NBCUniversal’s Fandango or Atom Tickets, while U.K. users will be able to buy tickets through AMC-owned Odeon Cinemas.
Fees will be waived on AMC and Atom Tickets as a promo for the new service.
An Accenture study in January said about 58 percent of people discover movies online, with 39 percent of those people using mobile devices. Jen Howard, Facebook’s group director of entertainment and technology, told Variety that the company is also considering bringing the reminder feature to series on TV or streaming services.
“It’s another foray we’re making into helping people connect with the movies they love on Facebook,” Howard told Variety. She added that Facebook also is considering extending the reminder feature to “any industry where a reminder would be helpful.”
Pilot testing of the feature in 2018 drove a “significant increase” in showtime lookups and ticket purchases, Doug Neil, Universal’s EVP of digital marketing, told Variety.
Facebook is also testing subscriptions to certain video streaming services that can be viewed inside its “Watch” hub. The services being tested are the BBC-owned BritBox, Tastemade Plus, Discovery Communications’ MotorTrend on Demand and Dropout, a network from CollegeHumor.
The Dropout subscription will cost $4.99 a month for all of the service’s original programming, as well as the ability to have chat-enabled virtual watch parties with other viewers. There will also be a new feature that will catalog all of the streaming content.