NEW YORK, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A+E Networks™ Digital Media today announced a first-of-its-kind approach to exploring the lives of people with the all new Bio.com, the official site of BIO™ Channel. Beginning today, Bio.com leverages the Facebook social graph to illuminate the interesting and unique ways that the lives of site visitors and their Facebook friends intersect with and compare to notable people.
To explore their shared connections, Bio.com visitors simply sign in with Facebook connect and the site is transformed to reveal "My Connections" and "Your Friends' Connections" with over 6,000 of the world's most famous people. Visitors can then sort through their many connections to see with whom they or their friends share a birthday, a hometown and an alma mater, among other commonalities. The Connections functionality also appears as an embedded widget on most pages of the site, matching visitors with the subject(s) of that page.
"The success of BIO through the years has demonstrated our fascination with famous people -- not just from understanding what makes them different from us, but what we share in common with them," said Dan Suratt, Executive Vice President, Digital Media and Business Development, A+E Networks. "Now, we've re-engineered Bio.com to leverage Facebook's social graph to highlight the personal connections that our visitors and their friends also share with those personalities of today and years past."
"The new site is a great extension of the powerful BIO brand," said Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager, A&E Network and BIO Channel. "Bio.com serves as a top destination for users to dig deep to find the most gripping, surprising and amazing stories about real people and their extraordinary lives."
In addition to exposing commonalities via the Facebook social graph, the new Bio.com showcases the following:
- PROFILES: More than 6,000 profiles of notable people through the ages with comprehensive text biographies supplemented by components including Quick Facts, Best Known For, Video, Photos, Quotes and more.
- VIDEO BIOGRAPHIES: More than 150 full episodes of the Emmy® Award-winning series Biography® on people as diverse as Jesus Christ, Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Twain, Barack Obama and Kate Middleton, and more than 100 "mini" video bios (2-3 minute bite-sized narratives produced exclusively for Bio.com) on notable people as varied as Thurgood Marshall, Princess Diana, Jeffrey Dahmer and Lady Gaga.
- GROUPS: More than 1,700 groups illuminate the connections between notable people. Dynamic groups aggregate people on biographical characteristics such as first name, birth date, college, occupation, and nationality. Featured groups match well-known people on quirkier, unique characteristics, for example: "Erratic and Autocratic" (spotlighting less than benevolent rulers), "Gap-Toothed Grinners" (spotlighting prominent figures who proudly flash the space in their smile) or "Women Who Rock" (spotlighting women who forged a path in the world of rock-and-roll).
- SHORTLISTS: Site visitors vote on entertaining questions designed to foster views of people in a new light or unlikely scenario. For example, shortlists at launch include "Which famous figure would you like to become in your next life?", "Who are the five famous people – dead or alive -- you'd like to have drinks with?" and "Which famous voice would you like to hear on your car's GPS?"
- INTEGRATED SPONSORSHIPS: Sponsors have a unique opportunity to associate their brand with custom BIO content tailored to their specific messaging or brand attributes. For example, starting on the site October 3, Columbia Pictures will promote its new movie, Anonymous, in theaters October 28th. Leveraging the movie's key taglines: "Was Shakespeare a Fraud?" and "We've all been played", BIO's producers explore "10 Bonafide Impostors" including Charles Ponzi, Victor Lustig and Mary Baker. The custom sponsorship also entails integration of a quiz, advertising and branded canvases that reflect the movie's creative.
- BIO NOW: A new blog that looks at people in the news through the BIO filter -- where "truth is more entertaining than fiction" -- and surfaces content (profiles, video, groups, shortlists, etc.) that details the person beyond the headline.
- PHOTO GALLERIES: Unique and quirky collections of people form the basis for hundreds of photo galleries such as "Famous Lookalikes" (spotlighting Millard Fillmore and Alec Baldwin, George Clooney and Cary Grant, and Queen Latifah and Zora Neale Hurston), "Fantastic Facial Hair" (spotlighting Leo Tolstoy, Leonardo da Vinci and Zack Galifianakis), and The 27 Club (spotlighting musicians who died too young – all at age 27).
- CELEBRITY CONNECTIONS: BIO's version of "Six Degrees of Separation" examines the connections that stars and notable figures share with one another – now visitors can understand how Kevin Bacon is actually linked to Naomi Watts, Robert Redford and Ingrid Bergman.
About A+E Networks Digital Media
A+E Networks Digital Media, a division of A&E Television Networks, LLC, is a leading provider of digital content for properties including History, Lifetime, A&E, BIO, Lifetime Moms and Roiworld. More than 15 million unique visitors per month engage with the company's digital brands across 14 properties, and millions more consume the content via syndication, social media and mobile.
At BIO, we prove that the truth about people is always more entertaining than fiction. BIO is about real people and their real lives: up close and personal, gritty and provocative, always unfiltered. BIO original series uncover the real drama in people stories: everyday situations with a twist; celebrities going off-script; people-centric crime stories and paranormal events. In addition to being the exclusive home to the Emmy-Award winning "Biography®" series, the dynamic blend of original and acquired series on BIO includes "I Survived…," "Celebrity Ghost Stories," "Inside Story" and "Aftermath with William Shatner." The 24-hour network is now available in more than 63 million households. The BIO web site is located at www.bio.com.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles lusting for the power of the throne were brought to light in the most unlikely of places: the London stage. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich, written by John Orloff, and produced by Roland Emmerich, Larry Franco, and Robert Leger.
Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
SOURCE A+E Networks Digital Media