Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Facebook, TiVo, Hulu, Netflix, Google TV

--TiVo, Hulu and Netflix to Support Facebook's New Social-Viewing Features
--Report: New Version of Google TV to Feature "TV Everywhere" Apps

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • TiVo, Hulu and Netflix on Thursday announced support for new social-viewing features on Facebook that were unveiled by the social-networking site's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Thursday, and that will allow users to see what their friends are watching in real-time and then watch with them: 1) TiVo says that it will update its iPhone and iPad apps to "include additional integration with Facebook to increase social-TV functionality. Facebook's newly announced Like and Watch integrations, with the enhanced Facebook API's which will allow people who use the TiVo service to further connect with family, friends, and subscribers around the entertainment they love, offer an added layer of recommendations, further enabling TiVo lovers to enjoy brilliant TV from the world's only smart DVR," the company's press materials continue. "The improved Facebook integration creates a social guide for people to expand their typical entertainment choices by discovering new programs through the recommendations of their Facebook friends. TiVo users will be able to discover programs their Facebook friends endorse with the Like feature, or view what shows their friends are currently enjoying with the Watch feature and immediately schedule a recording or watch live based on those recommendations. And because the TiVo iPad and iPhone apps are linked to the TiVo DVR, TiVo users can feature the program they're watching to their friends and subscribers on Facebook with a flick of their finger...The TiVo app retains its unique and easy-to-use interface and lets people peruse TiVo's hallmark search, browse and recommendation functions, without disrupting what they are watching on the big screen. As people connect and interact with the social-TV features on the TiVo app, they will have more robust access to suggested programming provided by their networks on Facebook. The improved integrations will launch on the TiVo app later this year." Said TiVo's general manager of product marketing, Jim Denney: "With this improved Facebook integration, TiVo users can discover things to watch from the new social guide, and can feature their entertainment experiences and choices with their friends. Through full integration with the set-top box, TiVo is defining the future of social TV by offering a new way for people to connect and interact on the second screen in a way that is fully integrated with their actual TV-watching experience." 2) Hulu has announced the Hulu on Facebook app, which it bills as a "fully integrated experience that enables you to watch Hulu videos without leaving Facebook. And because you are watching through Facebook," a posting on the company's blog continues, "the videos you watch will be instantly shared with your friends if you choose to do so. The app will also show you what videos your friends are watching, and enable you to start conversations with others. As you are watching a new episode, clip, or movie from Hulu on Facebook, you can leave a comment on a particular moment within the video, and share those comments with friends on both Facebook and Hulu. Facebook will be aggregating the stories in such a way that you'll be able to see all the likes, comments, and watches around a certain video, making it easy for you discover and share new TV shows and movies. Using the Hulu on Facebook app is simple. Just click on any Hulu link in your news feed from any of your friends, and you'll be taken to the Hulu on Facebook app. Or just add Hulu on Facebook the same way you add other apps. Once the Hulu app is added to your profile, you can easily watch Hulu content on Facebook anytime, instantly. If you are a Hulu Plus subscriber, you'll have access to the entire Hulu Plus library in addition to the shows on the free Hulu service through the Hulu on Facebook app. Discuss and share Hulu Plus content with your friends who also subscribe to Hulu Plus. You can also easily adjust your share settings any time by clicking on the 'share to feed' icon button in the player and selecting to share your watch activity with either 'Hulu and Facebook' or 'No One. Do Not Share What I Watch.' You can also change your settings in your Facebook privacy settings or on Hulu.com's privacy and settings page to control what you share (if you choose to share anything)." 3) Netflix, meanwhile, says that it will soon offer a "new optional Facebook connection" (though initially only in Canada and Latin America--and not in the US due to what the company describes as "a 1980s law that creates some confusion over our ability to allow US members to share what they watch") that will allow users to "connect with your friends over TV series and movies online. The Netflix/Facebook integration empowers you as a Netflix member to share what you watch from Netflix with your friends on Facebook and to discover what your friends are watching both on Facebook and within the Netflix user interface," the company's press materials continue. "This makes it easier and more fun to find new television series and movies to watch...As soon as the feature is enabled, you will see an option in the Netflix user interface to connect to Facebook. After connecting your Netflix account to Facebook, you will see what your friends are watching on any device that streams from Netflix, provided your friends are also connected. Note that nothing will be shared unless you choose to connect your account to Facebook and sharing can be turned off at any time."
  • The new version of Google TV, which is expected to launch later this year and which will be based on the "Honeycomb" (Android 3.1) operating system, will feature "TV Everywhere" apps for TBS and TNT, Janko Roettgers reports in NewTeeVee. The apps (complete with screenshots that highlighted Suddenlink as a participating pay-TV operator) briefly appeared in the Android Market last week, but were subsequently removed.


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