Verizon Brings Social Media To TV

twitterbird/tvComing soon to a television near you -- if you're a Verizon FiOS subscriber -- Facebook, Twitter and an App Store-like marketplace.

"People of all ages and demographics are living their lives on social networks," says Verizon representative Bobbi Henson. "And the more they do that, the more they want to experience it wherever they are."

Although still in a basic stage, the service will allow people to view Facebook status updates and view friends' photo albums and pictures. Users will not immediately be able to update their status beyond having it reflect what program they're watching, but "it will evolve as we go along," Henson says. "People are very tethered to those services."

With Twitter, users will be able to continue watching whatever program they were tuned to while also viewing tweets and other feeds applicable to the show (or participants in a sporting event, if such is the case).

"It's really about bringing these Internet capabilities to the television, the biggest screen in their house," Henson says.

The Facebook and Twitter access will come via widgets available through a new Widget Bazaar (as will an ESPN Fantasy Football widget) through the service's Interactive Media Guide. Via an open development platform, the company is hoping the Widget Bazaar will turn into an App Store-like marketplace where users can download free and transactional applications for their TVs. "Ultimately, when it gets up and running, it will have a broader range of applications that consumers can ad to their dashboard," Henson says.

Later this summer, DVR users will also have access to an Internet Video feature allowing them to search and view user-generated videos from sites such as blip.tv, Dailymotion and Veoh. Henson would not disclose marketing plans for these new services, but said it was likely there would be "some direct marketing and adding these features into advertising campaigns, just as we're doing now with other features."

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2 comments about "Verizon Brings Social Media To TV".
  1. David Ricketts from N-A , July 20, 2009 at 11:35 a.m.

    I can't think of a more misguided or bone-headed approach than this one. I can see why Verizon think they are on to a winner - more time in front of the TV = more value to advertisers, but seriously, how many Americans watch subtitled movies?

  2. Media Skeptic from Insert Agency Name Here , July 22, 2009 at 12:46 a.m.

    I disagree. Some people will want this, and it should be brought to them. This could finally be the start of a revenue stream for Twitter. No reason they shouldn't get a fee from Verizon, and who knows, maybe they could further monetize by throwing a text or search ad on between tweets with all that screen space.