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Facebook, the social networking giant, announced at Cannes 2012 that it will be launching an education tool for agencies and a “Creative Council”. Facebook Studio Edge is a learning program designed to keep agencies up to date on the Social Network’s latest products and best practices.

Users can interact with short 10-to-15 minute courses on topics covering pages, apps, and ads. Studio Edge will sit within the revamped homepage of its advertising showcase portal, Facebook Studio which was launched last year in April to help agencies work more effectively with Facebook whilst showcasing agency work.

Facebook Studio was a departure for Facebook, as they worked with brands instead of selling direct, and the Studio Edge will continue the relationship offering 10-15 minute interactive courses, exclusive to agencies.

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Under Studio Edge, creative individuals will be able to set up profiles and display links to their portfolios and information about their agency. An accreditation scheme has also been implemented, which enables users to collect badges; this is a concept commonly seen on social platforms such as FourSquare, and the Studio Edge equivalent is to demonstrate a user’s level of experience and understanding of the platform. The levels range from Facebook basics, to more advanced concepts like page management and advertising.

Mark D’Arcy, director of global creative solutions at Facebook, said the strategy was to aid agencies to implement the learning scheme for employees. Studio Edge would also become a useful tool for marketers when selecting an agency, since portfolios and credentials are easily browsed through the site.

He said, “If you think that Facebook is a relatively new platform and what we are inviting the creative community to do, and what they are already doing, is to embrace this platform, experiment and learn. “We think of it as a scalable solution to ramp up social by design thinking and education for not just the creative team, but the whole agency.” (via Campaign Live).

Facebook has also announced that it has formed a Creative Council, primarily comprised of CCO’s from global agencies. The move follows last year’s announcement of a Client Council for marketers and agency heads. The formation of the Creative Council is to serve as a sounding board and discussion platform for product ideas and agency needs, to establish with Facebook how it can best service their needs. Its members will include creative executives with a focus on social and multiplatform specialisms.

The 14-strong council comprises of the following confirmed members:

Linus Karlsson, Chief Creative Officer for Global Brands at McCann
Mark Waites, Chief Creative Officer and founder of Mother
Rob Feakins, Chief Creative Officer and president at Publicis
James Hilton, Chief Creative Officer at AKQA
David Droga, founder and chief executive at Droga5
Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer at R/GA
Colleen DeCourcy, Founder and Chief Executive of Socialistic
Mike Lazerow, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Buddy Media
Mark Tutssel, Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett
Amir Kassaei, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at DDB
Toshiya Fukuda, Chief Executive and Executive Creative Director at 777
Rob Reilly, Chief Creative Officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky
Tor Myhren, Chief Creative Officerat Grey
Jeff Benjamin, Chief Creative Officer at JWT

Facebook’s first Creative Council will be held this week at Cannes 2012 Lions Advertising Film Festival.

D’Arcy, added in the announcement via Facebook, “The more Facebook can listen to the agency community and arm them with more information on the latest our platform has to offer, the more creativity we will see come to Facebook.”

Facebook Studio Edge is currently open to a limited number of launch partners.