Facebook has accepted CNN's friend request and the two have announced plans for a joint coverage of Barack Obama's inauguration day on January 20th. The plan is to allow Facebook users to remain connected to their Facebook pages whilst simultaneously watching the inauguration - they'll be able to share their opinions on the ceremony with friends as it happens.
CNN explained that the idea stemmed from election night, where many Facebook users updated their statuses as the night went on, and returned to their computers to share their opinion when the final votes were in. Facebook friend lists were saturated with declarations of delight or dismay (depending on which side of the fence you sat...) for days to follow.
To publicize the collaboration, CNN have posted a very prominent link on their Facebook fan page to the event. Users can declare themselves 'Attending', 'Maybe Attending' or 'Not Attending', and at the time of writing this there are 2,278 people who have confirmed their intention to watch.
Of course this is not the first time that big news industry figures have tried to ingratiate themselves with the social networking phenomenon. The New York Times quadrupled the number of fans on their already successful Facebook page by placing an advertisment on the home page.
Another US based paper, Register-Mail created a page through which it fed news and sport, their reasoning being that whilst many young people check the latest action on their Facebook several times during their working day, they do not always read a newspaper. The BBC attempted its own version, with embedded links to networking sites such as Twitter and youTube in its online articles. The trial was a success in terms of numbers but was stopped due to the rapid 'click-through rate' that it caused.