This afternoon Hulu announced the launch of Hulu desktop which is extremely impressive. The service lets users view all Hulu videos through a single application which provides an interactive interface for navigating videos and queuing up new ones. It’s essentially a video media player for your desktop. So what ever happened to that Hulu and Facebook Connect partnership that was announced a year ago? So far we still haven’t seen Connect implemented on Hulu.com.
That may all change soon and if I were going to pick where Facebook Connect would be implemented, it would be on Hulu desktop. The reason is that users of Hulu desktop are completely engaged in an interactive experience built around the media. While simply posting a live streaming Facebook widget as many other sites have done would be one option, a more integrated social experience is more important and that’s something Hulu has the opportunity to do.
Back in October when I was at Verizon’s Washington, D.C. offices, I got the opportunity to check out the Verizon FIOS platform. One of the discussions that I had was about integrated social experience through the FIOS platform which is something that the company is working on. Soon enough, “Facebook users who log in through [a Facebook widget] can see their friends’ status updates, pictures and newsfeeds” directly from within the FIOS service, according to Multichannel News.
While Hulu has publicly stated their intentions with Facebook Connect, a lot of people are wondering what comes next. I believe Hulu’s announcement about Hulu Desktop signals what the company hopes to produce. As many have been stating, the primary viewing platforms in the home are: the phone, television, and computer. Hulu Desktop clearly wants to be the leading service on computers (and potentially more) but one limiting factor is that you can’t communicate with others while in Hulu.
Facebook Connect can change all that making it possible for users to communicate and share their viewing experience with their friends. For now the Hulu desktop experience is not a social one, but I’m sure hoping that changes in the near future.