TVG Bids Viewers to Check In

TVGuide.com has partnered with ABC to help kick-start its new TV Check-In feature, which is the site’s answer to the slew of startup social apps. TV Check-In encourages users to tell their friends what programs they watch or are planning to watch.

The site has added TV Check-In to its popular TV Hot List editorial feature; users can click “I’ll Watch” buttons that appear alongside recommended Hot List shows, instantly alerting their friends on Facebook. ABC has signed on as one of the official TV Check-In sponsors, along with Starbucks.

TVGuide.com’s TV Check-In feature is similar to several new mobile applications, which look to tap into the phenomenon popularized by location-based social apps like Foursquare. For example, the fast-growing app GetGlue encourages users to check into their favorite TV shows as they watch them live. The company has run several promotions for HBO. CBS’ TV.com has a similar offering dubbed Relay.

But TVGuide.com is looking to tap into Facebook’s massive user base, rather than build its own TV Check-In network. “TV Check-In empowers TVGuide.com’s passionate and engaged fans to drive tune-in for their favorite shows by sharing what they’re watching with their friends,” said Christy Tanner, svp and general manager, TV Guide Digital. “The ‘I’ll Watch’ buttons are a natural evolution for our existing social features to make it easier for users to connect with other fans in their social networks.”