Last week when Nate Burleson arrived in California at the Facebook headquarters, his jaw nearly hit the floor.
Seeing a large group of buildings, the Cleveland Browns' receiver assumed Facebook was located inside some these offices. Instead, Burleson was told the social media giant owns the entire campus.
Employees eat at eight different restaurants for free. There's a dessert bar that would put Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory to shame. There's even a barber shop on site.
Then there are rooms "straight out of the movie the Matrix," according to Burleson. Gigantic screens are computing how many millions of people are using Facebook throughout the world. Other areas display which topics are trending and where.
"It seemed like one of the most relaxing and exciting places to work on Earth," said Burleson of his visit to Facebook. "I honestly want to work there. I was waiting for them to offer me a job, I don't think my resume is strong enough."
Actually, Nate, it might be. Burleson was chosen as one of 300 celebrities and athletes to try out a new innovation. Facebook is launching an exclusive application (unnamed at this time) to help social media superstars cater unique posts for their specific demographics. The app uses advanced analytics to separate each of Burleson's followers into distinct categories.
For example, in addition to being a wide receiver, Burleson also owns a clothing line. If Burleson is about to create a post about his Lionblood clothing brand, this new Facebook app can group together users who have liked or commented Lionblood clothing posts in the past, and deliver the post only to them.
The Facebook app takes things one step further. Burleson says athletes are always trying to have the wittiest posts. Now, he can click a few buttons to describe exactly what message he wants to convey to his followers and it will produce an engaging sentence to go along with his picture or video.
"For us as athletes, it's all about taking advantage of this small window of opportunity we have to brand ourselves bigger than what we are as players," said Burleson, who predicts most athletes will be using this app within a year. "So once we're done playing, whatever it is we go into, that we have something that we could hold on to, and build on our name."
Every now and then, there will be an article suggesting the end of Facebook. After visiting with the company, do not group Burleson in that boat.
"If the world blew up you might be able to find some highlights of me out there somewhere," Burleson joked about being a football player. "But you're going to know about the social media world forever. It was awesome to breathe in what they breathe in every day, which was: How much better can we communicate with each other?"