Verizon FiOS’ Tweet TV — Not So Sweet

Being a FiOS subscriber, I was excited a week back when I’d heard the telco TV provider’s widget bazaar featuring Facebook and Twitter for the TV had gone live. As an analyst covering the migration of social media from the web to the mobile screen, I’ve long felt that the next destination for the Twitter train would be TV.

First impressions? The FiOS Facebook widget worked for me largely due to the ability to view friends’ photos, while the Twitter widget was hardly more than a public stream of tweets around TV shows.

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With the Facebook widget and photo viewing, I was happy with the overall image quality. I was able to view pictures of friends and family easily, and had the option to view each image full-screen. While slightly pixelated, full screen images looked decent on my 42″ plasma.

The Twitter widget didn’t impress. While the user can search tweets and look at tweets about the current show, they can’t load their own Twitter page or actually tweet. I don’t know about you, but looking at public tweet streams about shows isn’t my idea of a good time.  My feeling is a Twitter widget for TV should allow you to load up your own Twitter ID and tweet from the widget itself, and even possibly exchange tweets with others watching the same show.

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While FiOS’s first run at social media widgets is a mixed bag, I do commend them on their efforts. In my recent weekly update on GigaOM Pro (subscription required), I talk about how the migration of social web to the TV is inevitable, even as today’s early implementations such as those from FiOS are rudimentary in nature. I also explain how the social TV will succeed by optimizing the experience around three basic feature sets: sharing and discussion, recommendation and visual communication.

The FiOS widget for Facebook hits on one of these feature sets pretty well through photo sharing, but the Twitter widget basically misses the mark on all three.


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Vid-Biz: Redbox, Soapbox, Facebook

Redbox Signs Sony to $460 Million Distribution Agreement; five-year deal has the studio providing DVDs to the kiosk rental company, the first such studio deal for Redbox. (Video Business)

Soapbox R.I.P.; Microsoft decides to just kill off its UGC video site. (paidContent)

Facebook Served 1B Video Views in June; engineer says he’s dealing with half a million videos a day. (Facebook)

BrightRoll Breaks into comScore Top 10; company says video ad market is stabilizing, with pre-roll CPMs up up 3.1 percent from last quarter. (BrighRoll) (Disclosure: BrightRoll is funded by True Ventures, which also funds the GigaOM Network.)

Danny DeVito Gets Hands Bloody with Web Content; actor’s web site TheBloodFactory.com will launch with 5 of a reported 50 horror short films at Comic-Con this Friday. (Variety)

Commercial Time Up 3.5 Percent Last Year; broadcast networks showed 5,688 prime-time commercial minutes in 2008, up from 5,492 in 2007. (MediaPost)

VOD Use Jumps 15 Percent Year-Over-Year; Rentrak reports that June was the biggest month for VOD viewing, with an average viewing time of 16.5 minutes per day per active unique set-top box. (TV by the Numbers)

Cinetic and Babelgum Extend Partnership; web TV service will get six new films exclusively including Wild Seven, Scrambled Beer and Jack Says. (emailed release)


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Demystifying the Social Medianess – Forget About Technology

1174900_circuits When last we left, we talked about how the social web thrives on unselfish communication. I touched a bit on the role of technology, and today I’d like to expand upon some thoughts.

When you hear the words social media what’s the 1st thing that comes to your mind? Twitter or Facebook? How about Blogs? These are tools. They are not social media.

But to many the social web means technology.

I don’t blame anyone for thinking this way. The Internet is a technological advancement that has provided this playground we are now part of. And being constantly bombarded with news about the latest tool, widget, etc., it’s not surprising that people tag technology with social media.

Perhaps this is why many fear the social web. Technology is a scary word. It means new and expensive. These words can spell death for a business or organization who is thinking of trying new things .

Social Media is not new and it doesn’t need to be expensive (though, it can take time when done right). The point is, forget about technology.

Don’t immediately focus your social media efforts on how Twitter can do X

First, take some time to understand the ethics and methodologies behind the social web. Learn how and why people are communicating the way they are online. Listen.

Build this solid foundation and you will begin to see how the social medianess and technology compliment each other. Then you’ll be in a stronger position to fully leverage the available tools that are available.

Vid-Biz: FiOS, The Office, YouTube

Verzion’s FiOS Gets Twitter, Facebook and Web Video; the new Widget Bazaar makes TV more social, adds video from Veoh, blip.tv and Dailymotion. (Multichannel News)

Watch New Office Webisodes and Follow Character Tweets; new web spin-off series The Office: Blackmail stars Creed, and you can follow the Twitter conversations between Kelly Kapoor (@IAmKellyFierce) and Ryan Howard (@veRY_ANgelic). (emailed release)

YouTube Asks Partners About Paid Product Placement; new checkbox appears for describing videos as such; earlier this year, YouTube sent notifications to creators that their brand integration tools could violate the company’s terms of service. (Stuff We Like)

Warner Delivers Movies Through the Wii (in Japan); Batman Begins, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming to the game console’s “Everyone’s Theater Wii” service. (andriasang.com blog) (Thanks, Matt!)

Are Mobile Phones a Threat to the Movie Industry? Nope, says Cory Doctorow; pre-release violations are usually an inside job; and what is the film industry doing to protect data on phones turned in before screenings? (Guardian)

Stingray Bringing Karaoke to YouTube; company’s sing-along Karaoke Channel coming to the video site. (The Globe and Mail)

New Web Shows Launch: HD Nation on Revision3 and Ctrl on NBC. (emailed releases)

Justin.tv Redesigns for Easier Broadcasting; site’s homepage features big red “Broadcast” button, redesign also incorporates Meebo IM chat into the site. (TechCrunch)



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