Drivers at Facebook

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Talk of the see-and-be-seen world of social media replaced conversations about the final two races of the Verizon IndyCar Series on Aug. 22 when nine drivers toured Facebook’s campus.

Josef Newgarden and Tony KanaanThe tour included one-on-one consulting sessions with Facebook staffers, who offered tips on engaging fans on their social network – the world’s largest. Racers were also escorted through the campus, which is something of a small city – with bicycles, medical services, restaurants and graffiti art on walls and hallways. They even stopped at Facebook’s ice cream shop which, like all of the restaurants on the campus, doesn’t accept money.

“This is the craziest and coolest experience I’ve had. People here, everybody’s so happy. You can totally tell they treat them very well, all the employees. It’s pretty intense,” Sebastian Saavedra said.

A favorite stop of the day came at Instagram’s offices, where engineers built a room, complete with wallpaper, desk and a computer, on its side. Anyone who enters the space, custom-made for creative photography, appears to be floating in the space after pictures are snapped and rotated. Drivers took turns posing in the tiny room and posting the results online.

When it was Saavedra’s turn, he leaned over, putting the tip of his finger on the desk. So, when the photo rotated, the move created an image of the desk, suspended on Saavedra’s finger. Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, twisted into multiple poses in the space.

But he took the day, and its opportunities, seriously.

“I am so active in social media and Facebook. There’s always room to learn and to come here and learn from the experts is just one more tool we can use to connect to the fans and really engage with social media,” Kanaan said. “The facility was unbelievable. I am really impressed…It doesn’t look like an office, that’s for sure.”

To see the Facebook pages of the drivers who visited Facebook, visit and like:

Pippa Mann at Facebook