On Wednesday Twitter announced a partnership with Comcast which will allow users to tune into a TV show directly from a Tweet they see online. This feature, called See It, will give Comcast Xfinity TV customers in the US the ability to do several things in response to viewing a tweet, such as change the channel, set the DVR and play a show On Demand or add it to the On Demand queue. They could also use the feature to tune in and watch the show online or on their mobile devices.
The feature, which will debut in the US in November for Comcast Xfinity TV users, is capitalising on the way in which many Twitter users use the site to host real-time conversations about television shows, quite often while the programme is live on air. See It will therefore provide the option to link directly to the TV programme which is being discussed online so you too will be able to understand and contribute to the discussions that are going on. This hopes to create a more integrated approach between television and social media.
The Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, Brian Roberts, commented that "See It is a simple yet powerful feature that creates an instant online remote control. Comcast is taking a leap forward in social TV by enabling Twitter users to more easily find and view the shows they want to watch and discover new shows. Twitter complements the live viewing experience and is an ideal partner for Comcast and NBCUniversal."
This feature is an attempt to further drive conversations and viewer ship of TV shows via social media networks. “This allows advertisers to be able to reach even more of the specific audiences that they desire” commented the CEO of NBCUniversal Steve Burke. The feature is easy to use - activated simply by a one-time log-in to Xfinity TV, as simple as signing into an email or Twitter account. Once users have logged in they will be only one or two clicks away from instantly watching the shows or movies they see in a tweet.
This move seems to follow the increasing use of social media on mobile phones
and additionally the use of these devices or tablets while watching television. This is particularly seen when watching sport as more and more people are viewing sport with a ‘second screen’
, whether in a stadium live or at home in front of the television. This provides them with the opportunity to have their own commentary on the action and respond to the comments of others. However, Twitter commentary is not just seen while watching sport. In the US #thevoice generates more than 350,000,000 Twitter impressions. The initial launch will therefore feature some of NBCUniversal’s most popular shows like The Voice
and events like Sunday Night Football, but other networks and programming will soon by added too.
Twitter and Comcast say that the system is designed to work with other companies’ systems, and they are in discussion with other companies about the prospect of rolling the feature out with them. Will this feature also be picked up by UK television providers?
What do you think?
Do you engage in discussions on television programmes through social media sites like Twitter? Would you use this new social TV feature?