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Facebook hires CollegeHumor's Ricky Van Veen to make its giant video business even bigger

Goodbye, Barry Diller. Hello, Mark Zuckerberg.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Last year, Ricky Van Veen argued that Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful person in the world.

Now he's going to work for him.

Van Veen, best known as the co-founder of IAC's CollegeHumor site, is going to work for Facebook as its "head of global creative strategy," a newly created position. The job, as best as I can understand it, is to work with media companies and creators to get them to make (even more) stuff for Facebook.

To begin with, that sounds like Van Veen will be focused on getting more interesting stuff into Facebook's Live Video, as well as the 360-degree video format it is also promoting. Right now, Facebook is paying some celebrities and media companies — including Vox Media, which owns this site — to make Live Video, in the hope that they'll experiment and figure out compelling ways to use the format.

Van Veen is supposed to help them along. "I’ll be working with all types of creators and organizations to figure out how best to use the biggest network in the world to better connect people with engaging and meaningful content," he wrote in a Facebook post (of course) announcing the move.

Facebook won't say this, but it's reasonable to assume that at some point Van Veen and his new boss, Facebook content VP Nick Grudin, could also decide that Facebook might want to back/invest in specific pieces of content, instead of just sending money to content makers and letting them do what they want with it.

That would make sense given Van Veen's resume making all kinds of video. He and three co-founders created CollegeHumor in 2000, and sold the site, along with other assets including video site Vimeo, to Barry Diller's IAC in 2006. Since then, Van Veen has worked on various projects for IAC, including its Electus content studio, which has made TV, including Food Network's "Chopped" and NBC's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls."

Over the years, Van Veen has built up an extensive New York/Hollywood network (he is married, if you're into noting that kind of thing, to "Girls" co-star Allison Williams), which will come in handy at the new gig.

He's also a fun person to talk to about The Future Of Media. That's what he did for Jason Hirschhorn's Media Redef last fall, when he posited, tongue only slightly in cheek, that Zuckerberg is Earth's most consequential person.

Here's an excerpt from that: "Facebook has gotten so big it’s easy to forget that it’s still completely controlled by a single 31-year-old human (worth $45B+). But it is! And if you believe ... that Facebook is the internet, then by the transitive property, this one person is arguably the gateway to the primary source for news, commerce and communication for pretty much the entire world. With one code push, Facebook could materially impact (perhaps fatally) the viability of most news publications. It could block Fortune 500 companies from reaching their customers as efficiently as their competitors. It could send an alert to every spouse in the world at once if their partner has actively been in touch with an ex. Just scratching the surface here, and again, that ability is with one person."

And if that's the kind of conversation that interests you, you may want to listen to the interview I taped with Van Veen last fall. You can find that below or over on iTunes.

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