Fans of Top Gear can now watch episodes of the BBC car show via Facebook thanks to a new video-on-demand application developed by the public broadcaster.
At present three episodes — Polar Special, US Road Trip, and the Vietnam Road Trip — are available to rent for 48 hours using Facebook’s Credits system.
Facebook Credits are a virtual currency that can be used to buy virtual goods in games, applications and services on the social networking platform. Credits can be purchased using a credit card, PayPal or a mobile phone, as well as other alternative payment methods.
Commenting on the new service, Top Gear managing director said Facebook provided a way to access the 14 million Facebook ‘friends’ of the show and The Stig.
“We’re always looking at ways of adding value for the core fans of the show so it’s entirely appropriate that we should be one of the first TV shows to make its premium content available via Facebook,” he said in a statement.
The launch of the BBC’s Top Gear service follows the overnight announcement that Hollywood studio Miramax has also begun making some of its films available via Facebook.
Movie rentals will cost $US3 ($2.90) each and will also use Facebook's payment platform.
"We are big believers in Facebook and what it could mean for the future of the content business," Miramax said of the deal in a blog post.
"Our ultimate goal is to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own Cloud-based digital locker — to then access the content anywhere they want, across all devices," Miramax said.
Warner Bros early this year became the first Hollywood studio to use Facebook as a theatre by making the 2008 Batman thriller The Dark Knight available as a streaming rental for US users of the social network.