Media types have been geekily excited for some time about the “second screen” phenomenon, in which viewers use a computer or mobile device to post social content and interact with other fans around what they’re watching on TV -- but what if the social content were integrated into the TV itself?
That’s the idea behind a new app from Dish: consumers who subscribe to the satellite broadcaster’s (that’s “satcaster” if you’re cool) Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR service can now download an app that allows them to view social content on the TV, alongside whatever program they’re dishing about with their friends. The “Social” app enables subscribers to import content from up to eight accounts (four Facebook, four Twitter) per subscription, with various options for which content is displayed.
One option, “Now Watching,” shows the Twitter feed for the show, while another option, “My Twitter,” brings up your personal Twitter account and allows you to post a new tweet. “Social” offers similar options for Facebook content, and also displays data like the geographic locations producing the most tweets about a program, sentiment about the program, and the proportion, by gender, of male and female commentators on Twitter.
Jimshade Chaudhari, Dish’s director of product marketing and management, noted that in 2012, “Twitter saw 32 million Americans tweet about TV programming… Through our Social app, we’ve made it easier for consumers to follow social conversations and post in real-time without leaving their TV screen.”
The unveiling of the on-screen Social app comes not long after Dish launched its Dish Anywhere mobile app, which offers social functionality for TV viewers through mobile devices.