TV Genius Powers Recommendations for UK Broadcaster ITV's New Facebook App

--Social TV Round-Up: Verizon FiOS TV Viewing Parties, New Facebook Feature on YouTube

Video search specialist, TV Genius, announced last week that UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster, ITV, has selected its Content Discovery Platform to power a personalized recommendation feature on a new ITV Player app for Facebook. According to the company, the app, which is called "ITV Favourites" and which is available now, will "promote Christmas and New Year scheduling, as well as into 2010," through recommendations of content available via the ITV Player online catch-up service; and will also remind users of upcoming shows that might be of interest to them. The app will additionally allow users to share recommendations with friends, TV Genius says, and to compare preferred programs in order to see how compatible their TV viewing habits are.

According to TV Genius, this is the first time that ITV has built a social media application specifically to enhance the TV content discovery experience. The app allows users to rate ITV's programming according to their preferences, and then uses TV Genius's Content Discovery Platform to analyze those preferences and provide recommendations. It builds on an existing partnership between TV Genius and ITV that sees TV Genius providing the functionality for the TV listings guide on "The launch of the ITV Player app makes TV viewing a more social experience that lets users share programs with each other and recommend content that they think their friends will like," TV Genius CEO, Tom Weiss, said in a prepared statement. "ITV's leading programs have really got people talking this year and this app provides a platform to really enhance this social aspect of TV." Added head of site, Stuart Roberts: "We have a fantastic schedule of programming during the festive period and moving forward into 2010. The launch of the ITV Player Facebook app provides an ideal way for viewers to ensure they don't miss their favorite shows, as well as share recommendations with friends. We're excited about the app and are pleased to have worked with TV Genius to deliver ITV content to viewers via Facebook."

In other social TV/social video news:

  • Verizon has announced a "Game Day Viewing Party" initiative that sees it trying to get 1,000 of its FiOS TV customers to host viewing parties for the February 7th Super Bowl. The company--which is partnering on the initiative with consumer activation and experiential marketing company, House Party--is inviting FiOS TV customers who are interested in hosting a party to visit a dedicated Web page ( and fill out an online registration form: hosts will be selected and notified by January 22nd, the company says, and will receive a party pack with party supplies, small gifts for guests, and a Flip Ultra camcorder to record their event. Verizon is encouraging the hosts and their guests to use FiOS TV's Twitter and Facebook widgets to "post comments about the game on their TV screens, connecting them to other FiOS Game Day Viewing Parties and other big-game viewers across the nation." "Once you see FiOS TV, you become a believer," John Wimsatt, Verizon's SVP of marketing, said in a prepared statement. "Our customers tell us they love showing off FiOS TV to their friends, families and neighbors, and our Game Day Viewing Party will help them do just that. We're looking forward to tens of thousands of people experiencing the biggest game of the year in a way that only FiOS TV delivers. From the stunning picture-and-sound quality to our unique interactive widgets, FiOS creates a game-changing game-day on TV."
  • In a posting on its corporate blog last week, YouTube announced a new social feature, which it describes as "a feed that pushes the YouTube videos your friends are embedding on Facebook back to your YouTube homepage." More information is available here.