Facebook wants to make TV more social

Facebook wants to make TV more social

Summary: Facebook wants to make finding TV content, and how you connect to your friends around that content, more social.


Facebook is always looking to break into new markets. One of those is TV. Palo Alto wants to make TV more social: by improving how you find your content and how you connect to your friends around that content.

Andy Mitchell, SVP of Strategic Partner Development at Facebook, told attendees of the TV marketing conference PromaxBDA this week that social program guides are the future. The social network could partner with TV providers to help their customers find relevant programming by leveraging their social graph.

"If you look at the program guide [as it stands now], you're trying to figure out what to watch among 500 channels. It's really hard," Mitchell said according to Adweek. "But think about a program guide where you see what your friends are watching, that changes the experience. I think the real opportunity is creating a [TV] experience in which one or two or three of your friends share [their] viewing experiences" which "get[s] people to become recruiters for your show."

In other words, Facebook would provide a real-time feed to broadcasters based on their friends' TV show Likes and check ins. Facebook says its users have Liked various TV shows over 1.65 billion times. Earlier this year, the company noted that it has spoken with broadcasters about the idea of putting their full Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) on Facebook as Events so that users could RSVP and check in to shows.

I would say that a very small subset of my Facebook friends watch the same shows as I do. That being said, seeing which TV shows are popular amongst my friends may push me towards checking them out.

Two weeks ago, cable giant Comcast unveiled its next-generation Xfinity TV interface that includes Facebook integration. One of the features is called "Friend Trends," which shows the content most popular among the viewer's Facebook friends on Hulu, Netflix, the Web, and TV. Comcast even built the Like button into its new cable experience, so viewers can Like a show straight from their remote control. I've embedded a video of Comcast's demonstration at the Cable Show in Chicago below – the Facebook part starts at the 12 minute 32 second mark.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • All these companies are so fascinated with my TV

    when all I do is watch it to get away from all these companies!
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

      @Will Pharaoh second to that. I want an entertainment that just works by itself. There is a limit to the information human brain can consume in one day.
    • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

      @Will Pharaoh One word, Diaspora.
  • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

    Shouldn't that be "Facebook wants to turn you into a lemming"? What happened to independent thinking?
    • simpletons...1984

      @Userama exactly, we all end up watching the same 'great experience' and no one goes outside the box to see what else is going on in the world. Slowly the masses converge to a simple singularity...and poof!
      • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

        @Bradish@... Thats a Brave new world, not 1984.
        Tommy S.
  • I don't care what others watch, and

    I won't say what I'm watching. For one, I watch probably no more than 5 hours of TV a week and then it's mostly programming that actually provides interesting information. Nobody ever talks about those programs. They just want to talk about Dancing with the Stars, talent shows, NCIS and other useless brain-rot.
  • I just want a cable box that works.

    I hope the new ones come with Adblock Plus if Facebook is a TV player.
  • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

    No, No, No. I don't want any of that crap. Stay away from my TV facebook. I don't watch anything. I don't want to watch anything in particular, I want to flip channels, seriously. I want to watch three or four shows at a time. If I actually had to watch something specific on TV I wouldn't watch at all. Also, I don't have a social graph and don't want one.
    • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

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  • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

    Clarification. I do watch specific live sports events on TV, but I don't consider that watching TV, that's watching sports.
  • I agree...social television...yuck

    Must we do EVERYTHING together? However, one of Apple's current patent filings about TV sounds kind of neat. I think what it does is find you related programming to what you are currently watching. Let's say you are watching a program about Area-51, it will go out and find you more material on that subject such as UFO's.
  • RE: Facebook wants to make TV more social

    I found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates.
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