You might not be able to friend Justin Timberlake or Mila Kunis on Facebook, but you can get a piece of them through Sony’s new Facebook ticketing app, with group-buy tickets for their latest movie – Friends With Benefits.
The ticketing app works with Fandango and Movietickets, enabling ticket purchases to be completed within Facebook. Social elements include inviting Facebook friends to go see the movie together, buying tickets for the group, and sharing the forthcoming outing. In effect, the Sony Facebook Ticketing app is Disney’s TicketsTogether Facebook app on steroids – more social and with more ticketing partners.
But has Sony missed a trick with Facebook ticketing for ‘Friends With Benefits’? If Sony is looking to use the app to drive word of mouth buzz for the movie (which it should; buzz = sales), then it should provide benefits for friends buying tickets together in order to activate advocacy. ’Deal fatigue’ has set in among social commerce vendors, but the lazy solution remains group-discount deals. A smarter move for Sony would be to offer more creative buzz-worthy benefits, such as post-purchase access to an exclusive extended trailer, behind the scenes clips, out-takes or even special interviews with the cast. Early and exclusive access to a Facebook movie-merchandise store should be a no-brainer for Sony too as it would generate additional revenue.
To be fair, Sony is probably right to get the basics right first, with a skin-able app that can do basic Facebook ticketing for all movies (this incarnation still feels a little clunky), and then add in extra functionality. And we’re sure, it’ll come. Ticketing is the low-hanging fruit of f-commerce; combine it with merchandising and streaming and you have the f-commerce trinity to die for.