FACEBOOK’S LOERIES INVASION

For some people, the relationship between them and social media will only come from a consumer’s lens.

For creatives, social media is business, and everyone is looking to be a pioneer of this ground breaking 4th industrialized sector. Creative artists see it as a market place. Content creators see it as a pitching boardroom and focus group for their clientele, and app developers see it as a future competitor, or employer.

This year at the Loeries ,  South Africa’s think tank of Creativity, Facebook saw fit to invest in South African Creatives. For the second time running, the world’s largest social media company has been hosting hackathons and workshops in aid to upskill young South Africans in the latest skills in digital marketing and advertising.

According to Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director for Facebook Africa, the company is passionate about helping talented young creatives across Africa and the Middle East to develop their skills while delivering great concepts that help brands grow, while entertaining and informing the community. “Africa and the Middle East’s emerging digital creatives represent a powerfully diverse pool of talent—one that holds the key to reaching the next billion people.” She added.

Throughout the  Creative week, Facebook hosted an array of workshops and hackathons. Wednesday kicked off with Made On Mobile, hosting a hands on workshop in KwaMashu township helping SMME’s create an effective business presence and campaign using nothing more than a mobile phone. Yesterday was insta-themed, dubbed Instagram Durban’s Passions hack. The group worked with top students from advertising schools themed around Instagram and stories – exploring quick and easy ways to use video and mobile to connect with passions on Instagram. The students were judged by a panel that included Durban Tourism and Facebook’s Creative Shop.

Today, Facebook’s Head of Creative Shop for the Middle East and Africa Weera Saad will be speaking at the Seminar of Creativity, looking into the mobile world as a new creative canvas and how the continent can drive innovation through its use. You can catch the conversation on Facebook life.

Tomorrow is billed as the last day, a day of awarding notable talent. Facebook’s very own award “The Facebook Challenge” in the student category of the Loeires Awards. It serves to recognize and celebrate the work of the next generation of creative professionals who have set out to redefine creativity in the mobile world. This award distinctively recognizes a student campaign that creatively addresses gender equality through mobile video. The winner will be announced Saturday evening.

Facebooks investment in the Loeries may be brow raising to some, but also makes developmental sense. As the largest global social medium, Facebook has grasped most of Africa’s digital market. Africa has a population of 353 million internet users, of which 146 million have active Facebook accounts according to Internet World Stats . If anything, African creatives should use such opportunities to uptake new skills and contextualize them to our unique continental market. Mostly, engaging with African owned businesses to market to said audience.