Your social media guide to the Oscars [preview]

By Cory Bergman Comment

Updated: The Super Bowl social TV numbers were off the charts, then the Grammys — by one measure — unseated the big game as the most social event in TV history. And with the Academy Awards this weekend, media and social TV companies are gearing up for another huge event. We’ve gathered (and we’re still adding to) the most comprehensive social media preview for Sunday’s show:

– The Oscars is bringing back the Backstage Pass, a second-screen experience on and free apps for the iPad and iPhone. It will have even more goodies: 20 cameras between the red carpet and the show itself, and plenty of social stuff. This year, you can watch along with the show in two modes: “direct” allows you to pick any camera vantage points inside the theater during the show and zoom in to whatever action you want to see. And “watch” mode lets you enjoy a hosted second-screen experience on the red carpet and backstage. A ticker will tell you what’s happening on various camera positions.

– What’s Trending’s Shira Lazar will be back hosting the second-screen event, this time with Sherri Shepherd, Cameron Mathison and Jake Whetter — they’ll be tweeting along, as well. During the red carpet event, you can tweet a question directly to the hosts using the hashtag #RedCarpetQA. Or you can point out your favorites with #bestdressed. Both in the app and on, you can dial up a “buzz” section featuring the latest tweets from insiders, “movie moments” and all tweets hashtagged #Oscars. It also displays trending topics, ranked by tweets per minute (or TPM, as the cool kids say.)

– The Oscars teamed with up Facebook to enable fans to make their predictions before the show, sharing their picks with their friends. As the show airs, the picks will be graded live and compared against their friends. (It’s not TV, but it’s worth mentioning that I’m a big fan of the New York Times’ Facebook Oscars Ballot. One of my favorite Facebook integrations for any news site.)

– Oh, and the Academy will be live-tweeting from a few official accounts, as well. Follow @TheAcademy for a behind-the-scenes look, @OscarInterviews with insights from the press room and @OscarGoer that will take you into the theater as if you’re attending the ceremony yourself.

– Overwhelmed yet? We’re just getting warmed up here. For the first time, Twitter has assembled a “live-tweeting cast” that will keep you entertained as you watch (interesting that Twitter has organized the group, which illustrates its growing role in emphasizing its value as the second screen experience). “Watch the Oscars unfold on Twitter through the eyes of our live-tweeting cast tuning in along with you and sharing exclusive Oscars commentary you won’t see anywhere else,” Twitter explains. The list of 14 includes Eva Longoria, Randy Jackson and red carpet host Nina Garcia. Twitter has also compiled a list of nominees, presenters and other Hollywood names.

– Not to mention, host Billy Crystal plans to be active on Twitter as well, even during the ceremony itself. You may remember, he announced via Twitter that he was taking over hosting duties a day after Eddy Murphy quit the role. He’s been tweeting away ever since, cracking pre-Oscars jokes.

– ABC’s Good Morning America will hold a Google Hangout during the show with a select few — producer Gianna Toboni will be representing — and the show has asked G+ followers why they should be a part of it.

– Umami TV is rolling out an interesting new feature just in time for the Oscars. Called “FreezeFrame” (above) it lets you grab a photo of what you’re watching on TV — the iPad app synchronizes to the show — and share it with your friends. “Not unlike Pinterest for the web, users can now share imagery of their favorite moments, actors, recipes, products and more, in real-time, while they watch,” Umami explains. The company also rolled out “Dishboard”, a new social TV dashboard that serves up a real-time infographic of sorts, illustrating how many people are talking about the show. You can also see the most interesting tweets and add your own.

– Yahoo’s second-screen play, IntoNow, says it’s pulling out the stops for Sunday. You’ll be able to rate the fashions on the red carpet with thumbs up/thumbs down, predict the winners, participate in synchronized polls (while seeing where you stand against your friends), see synchronized companion content about the show and participate in discussions with your IntoNow friends.

– The loyalty app Viggle (which just acquired Loyalize) says it’s planning another “Viggle LIVE” event, just like the Super Bowl, that will feature real-time trivia, polls, and voting related to the award predictions and Oscar nominees. Once checked into the show, users will be able to earn bonus points for every engagement – up to 10,000 points! Viggle says more than 160,000 people have downloaded the app to date with a total of 3.5 million check-ins and $50,000 of rewards redeemed. By the way, Viggle is also holding a Twitter contest for movie tickets on Sunday — follow @Viggle for more.

– GetGlue is asking fans to also check in before the big event for a series of pre-show badges “See as many nominated films as you can to level-up from Viewer to Critic to Aficionado before the show begins,” GetGlue explains. In all, GetGlue is offering 10 stickers this year, and you’ll also be able to check into GetGlue straight from

– The second-screen startup ConnecTV — which just launched with hundreds of partner TV stations — promises to be “the best second-screen Oscar experience ever.” ConnecTV says it’s compiled plenty of companion content which “doesn’t just include fashion – even though we’ve definitely got some fashion tid bits coming your way – it also includes in-depth coverage of all the celebrities and movies.” ConnecTV is available online or as an iPad app.

– As we wrote about yesterday, Los Angeles station KABC has partnered with Trendrr to integrate trending social coverage on-air and online. Lots more details here.

– And what about those commercials? Advertisers are paying $1.7 million a pop despite the fact ratings have been in a long decline. One of the ads planned for Sunday evening will be for Samsung’s upcoming “smart interaction” TV (above) that responds to voice and motion commands (it was unveiled at CES.) “The Oscars are totally aligned with what home entertainment consumers are passionate about,” Peggy Ang, vice president of marketing communications, told USA Today. The set will cost $2,000 to $3,500.

– NMincite has measured social buzz leading up to the show, and it found that The Artist and Hugo are far and away the most-talked-about movies nominated for Best Picture (above). Among the categories, Best Picture rules the conversation (44%) with Best Actor in a Leading Role (19%) and Best Actress in a Leading Role (13%) following behind.

Phew! We’re still receiving emails and press releases with more Oscars plans, and we’ll update them here throughout the day. Then make sure you’re following @lostremote on Sunday as we point out some of our favorite social TV moments, and we’ll post a big wrap-up here on soon after the show.