Facebook to announce Hulu partnership (rumor)

Facebook and Hulu will strengthen their ties at f8 next week, and even Netflix could get some love, according to a new rumor.

Facebook is readying a new effort to get users behind sharing TV and movie content at its f8 developer conference next week. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will make an announcement regarding a new Hulu partnership, according to anonymous sources cited by The New York Post.

The premium TV content service Hulu wants to work closer with Facebook. Tighter integration would allow Facebook users to see what their friends are watching on Hulu and share video content between their personal networks. Facebook has before that it wants to make TV more social by partnering with TV providers to help their customers find relevant programming by leveraging their users' social graph.

Hulu already has Facebook Connect integration as of two months ago. It actually had to remove it temporarily after accidentally exposing user data, but everything has been running smoothly since (Hulu said the problem was its fault, not Facebook's). Here is what the integration allows:

  • Interact. Comment on a specific moment in time while watching any video on Hulu, and with one click, instantly share those remarks — and the relevant video moment from the program — on Facebook. When you comment on a Hulu video, that exact moment will appear on Facebook so your friends can jump in and react right away.
  • Personalize. Log on to Hulu—or create a new account—using your Facebook account. From there, you can interact with all of your Facebook friends. You’ll log into a homepage tailored to you, where you can see your friends' favorite shows, and start conversations with anybody who follows the same shows you do.
  • Discover. With Facebook on Hulu, you can introduce your friends to shows you're rooting for, and discover new favorites with the help of your friends.

Clearly Facebook believes it can do more. It's worth noting that the company rarely announces exclusive partnerships, so it may actually form ties with other video providers as well. Netflix is a possible candidate, especially given that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joined the Facebook board just three months ago.

Music is expected to be the big focus for f8, but that doesn't mean it's the only thing Facebook is planning. The company could surprise us all and announce video sharing features. There are a lot of attempts at pushing video on Facebook already (see links below), but none of these have included a lot of effort from Palo Alto itself. Some are even saying something to do with digital books could be coming, but that's the least likely announcement, I would think.

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