All cultures have an origin story. Traditionally, these sorts of things were passed down through the oral tradition. Well, we’ve got smart phones now and all sorts of screens that do a lot of storytelling for us, and as a digital community, as a generation immersed in all that is online – here’s a new story for a new culture.
Did you laugh at the end? I did, and I’m not sure yet if that was the effect the trailer was going for. The comments on the YouTube video of this trailer are great, and probably cover at least some reaction you’re having right now, whether it’s “is this real life?” or “guess they ran out of Disney rides to make movies out of – coming soon. . .Wikipedia: The Movie.”
Either way, this movie is going to cause a lot of buzz. If you go to the movie’s website you’ll see a “Recommend” button fashioned as a Facebook “like” button, and like any like button, click that and it’ll automatically post that you recommend this movie on your Facebook wall. The implications for the social media marketing posibilities for the movie are a little crazy to think about. I just posted on Facebook that I recommend this movie about Facebook. Woah, right?
As faux-epic as the trailer might make it seem at the moment, the truth is that a ton of people are so curious about the rise of such a huge social network (and let’s face it, a huge part in the way we communicate these days) that the interest is already there. We’re all wondering at least a little bit about how Zuckerburg raised this empire from his dorm room with only the help of a few friends. Sure, investors joined pretty early on, but they didn’t even have their first office until the summer of 2004, a summer after I learned about the website from a friend at Duke, and the summer Facebook spread to Virginia Tech and countless other colleges. So however evil, useless, or time-wasting you think Facebook might be, the business aspect of it, and the mere fact that it has reached as many people as it has is a little epic.
And of course, this is great timing. With all the lawsuits and privacy issues and Facebook news daily, the social network is fresh in people’s minds even if they don’t use it, which is exactly what the makers of The Social Network are counting on.