This morning, BeeTV announced the launch of their new social TV app, BeeTV HD, for iPhone and iPad. The app, which they describe as a “Twitter client for TV”, filters Twitter and Facebook to bring you real-time tweets about the TV show you’re currently watching.
BeeTV was previously available only on the iPad, but today they are extending their social TV experience to millions of iPhone users, as well as enhancing their iPad app. According to a press release, “BeeTV lets users “tune-in” to a show they are currently watching so they can easily join the conversation about that particular show. With just one tap users can see all the relevant tweets and Facebook posts about a show and can instantly jump into the conversation.”
Yaniv Solnik, founder and CEO of BeeTV, told me, “The easiest way to look at our app is as a ‘Twitter client for TV’.” The BeeTV app filters your entire Twitter feed (as well as Facebook) for content related to the TV show that you are watching and brings you a customized array of real-time tweets so you can join the conversation. Because of the fact that BeeTV relies on Twitter, users can follow and converse with anyone via @reply, even if they aren’t on BeeTV.
Yaniv says, “BeeTV is different from other social TV apps because we take the experience beyond the check-in. BeeTV is focused on the conversation….[it] lets users instantly find the discussion about what they are watching on TV and easily take part in it.”
As you can see from the screenshots below, BeeTV lets you easily search for the show or channel you are currently watching, as well as invite friends to watch with you.
I asked Yaniv about the inspiration behind BeeTV. He told me, “BeeTV started as a company that created a new kind of a recommendation engine for TV content. After three years of development and interaction with the big TV providers, we decided that there is a larger opportunity for creating a real-time social experience around TV content. We took our technology and adapted it to create the Social TV product that we have today.”
I was also curious about where they came up with the name, BeeTV. Yaniv gave me a romantic answer and a real answer. The romantic answer: “We are like bees, gathering content from different channels to create a sweet experience.” The slightly less romantic answer: “We were looking for a cool .tv domain and bee.tv was free.” I’m definitely a fan of the name, romantic or not.
So what can we expect from BeeTV in the future? Yaniv tells me that BeeTV will continue to explore new options for connecting people while they watch TV. “Right now we are aggregating real time tweets and Facebook posts, but we are planning to add more sources like Google+, Tumblr and more.” They are also looking to expand to more platforms, including Android and BlackBerry, as well as to open the platform to countries outside of the United States.
As it becomes more and more apparently that the future of TV is social, television viewers have a thirst for social TV apps that will help them to engage with their friends while watching their favorite shows. I really like how apps like BeeTV and SocialGuide, which I covered earlier this week, are utilizing social streams like Twitter to get the conversation started. These companies are definitely the first in a long stream of apps to come, as television continues to follow this new social trend.
Would you consider using BeeTV to make your television viewing experience more social? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.