Last month, BuzzFeed successfully convinced hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting Facebook users to watch a pair of employees use rubber bands to make a watermelon explode. Next week, the news and entertainment behemoth will use Facebook and YouTube to interview the President of the United States.
CNN’s Dylan Byers reported this afternoon that BuzzFeed plans to use YouTube’s live-streaming service to interview Barack Obama on Monday afternoon, with questions focusing on his recent nomination of federal judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Gawker recently learned two additional details: The interview will be conducted by BuzzFeed’s legal editor, Chris Geidner, and the site intends to broadcast their exchange not just on YouTube but also Facebook Live, the same video platform BuzzFeed used for their exploding watermelon stunt.
Facebook Live recently surged in popularity after Facebook began paying publishers, including Gawker Media, to create videos for the platform. It’s not clear, however, whether BuzzFeed’s Monday interview with Obama will be live streamed, rather than pre-recorded. (Facebook Live allows publishers to upload pre-recorded video to be played “live”at a specified time.)
If all goes according to plan, Geidner will be the second BuzzFeed editor to interview the President; the first, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, had a sit-down with Obama in February 2015. Like nearly all video interviews with the President, however, Smith’s was pre-recorded. Live one-on-one interviews with U.S. presidents, by contrast, remain fairly rare.
BuzzFeed declined to comment. Facebook and the White House did not immediately respond to inquiries.