Hum Social Media Awards: What they Mean for Pakistan’s Entertainment Business

Earlier this month, the HUM entertainment network organized their first-ever Social Media Awards. This might not be incorrect to say that these were also the first of their kind to be held in South Asia.

Previously, recognition for social media stars had been limited to one-off categories at traditional awards ceremonies. The idea behind these awards was to highlight the achievements of individuals from different genres – but solely based on their digital presence.

Since the ‘new normal’ also revolves around more virtual interactions, it was only befitting that the ceremony live-streamed on HUM’s official Facebook page. Despite relaxation on social gatherings from the government, it was a responsible decision on HUM’s part to create a safe experience and adhere to guidelines for social distancing while hosting a memorable virtual ceremony.

This could set the stage for future awards ceremonies in the country, even after the pandemic ends. Hosting a virtual event means more direct interaction with the audiences as they can tune in as the ceremony takes place.

Plus, virtual ceremonies incur much smaller costs which is the need of the hour keeping in mind how the economy has been affected globally. But more importantly, the results are more easily measurable. Since everything is done online, public engagement can easily be tracked.

In the case of the HUM Social Media Awards, the Facebook Live session’s data is easily accessible to evaluate the audience that the ceremony drew in the country. This way, potential sponsors and collaborators can make better assessments for future partnerships.

Pakistan’s entertainment industry has thrived in the past few years. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that it has gone on to create its identity on the global landscape. Our celebrities – whether they are from the entertainment industry or content creators – have accumulated massive followings on social media.

This is evident from the fact that for the country’s first-ever social media awards, global technology giant Facebook extended its support. The partnership sets a strong precedent, as it proves that the country’s digital potential is being recognized. It also provided much-needed transparency to the awards, as all nominations were vetted by Facebook’s algorithm.

The winners were all selected based on online public voting. For any future digital awards to be held, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that the audiences will now expect the same level of credibility.

“At Facebook, we see a lot of potential in Pakistan’s entertainment industry and overall digital landscape,” shared Hassan Salahuddin, Head of Media Partnerships, Facebook Pakistan. “The two areas now go hand-in-hand the world over. Hence, partnering for the first-ever HUM Social Media Awards was an exciting opportunity for us to support the country’s entertainment industry during these times especially.”

“Virtual ceremonies are here to stay, and we look forward to seeing how they play out in Pakistan in near future,” he added.

“We as HUM Network feel proud to collaborate with Facebook for Kashmir Hum Social Media Awards 2020,” said Hassan Jawed, Head of Digital, HUM Network.

“We have made history through this event and hope that this proves to be a step towards better opportunities. I would like to appreciate the support given by the President and CEO of HUM Network for conducting such a novel event,” he added.

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