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VOA Khmer Facebook Live Broadcast Reaches Record Audience

VOA Khmer's Reasey Poch uses an iPhone mounted on a tripod to broadcast live on Facebook, during a simultaneous live radio broadcast with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, seated between hosts Kimseng Men (R) and Moryvan Ly (L), Feb. 3, 2016.

VOA’s Khmer Service recently aired a 60-minute Facebook Live broadcast during its regularly scheduled radio program, setting a service record for audience reach on the social media site.

The February 3 broadcast (8:30-9:30 p.m. Cambodian local time) featured Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy in Washington and received nearly 35,000 views and reached more than 200,000 Facebook users within two hours. Audience engagement also soared, with nearly 4,000 comments, more than 9,000 likes and some 1,300 shares.

During the interview with VOA Khmer’s Kimseng Men, Rainsy responded to a fan’s question regarding his Facebook page receiving more “likes” than that of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.Rainsy said, “Facebook ‘likes’ are only one measure of citizen engagement, in addition to comments and shares.But the real [impact] is people's true willingness to engage and the inter-active nature of the page."

“This was quite revolutionary, and a great tool to integrate live TV and radio. It is a bridge between traditional and new media. The engagement aspect adds to the next step of multi-media,” said Sophat Soeung, digital media coordinator and reporter for the Khmer Service.

With more than 2.8 million fans, VOA Khmer has the most popular Facebook page in Cambodia.