Rachel Maddow Launches New App, The Future of 24/7 Social TV?

Remember the days when it was big news that cable news networks introduced the rolling ticker to television screens everywhere? So 20th century. A new iPad app is out, merging the latest in social TV with punditry and cable news. We'll tell you which show and which features you'll want to pay attention to.

Remember the days when it was big news that cable news networks introduced the rolling ticker to television screens everywhere? So 20th century.

A new iPad app is out, merging the latest in social TV with punditry and cable news. We’ll tell you which show and which features you’ll want to pay attention to.

At the top of her ratings game, Rachel Maddow can now say, “I have an app for that.” MSNBC has just released the Rachel Maddow HD app for the iPad that lets viewers weigh in live and, in what may be a first, send a tweet right from the app.

Explains the MSNBC press release:

“The ‘Watch Party,’ a live viewing experience featured on the app, gives consumers an interactive way to enjoy one of America’s most popular cable news shows. Viewers can join the Maddow ‘Watch Party’ and read real-time tweets from @maddow as well as guests, fans and other viewers using the #maddow hashtag – while the show is in progress. By connecting the app to their Twitter account, viewers can easily join the discussion.”

But beyond just showing tweets with the hashtag, the app uses the Twitter account @MaddowApp to curate top tweets.

“If MaddowApp favorites your tweet, it’ll show up in the highlights tab of the iPad app,” explains msnbc.com’s Will Femia on the show’s blog. “The idea is that if you’re watching the show after it has aired live on TV, like the next morning, you might not find the most relevant tweets in the #Maddow channel but you can at least look at the highlights to get a general sense of the audience reaction to the live broadcast.”

Other cool features include one-touch access to The Maddow Blog, and an archive of the past 20 installments of The Rachel Maddow Show.

The Rachel Maddow Show iPad app is available now for free in the iTunes app store, and the network plans to expand the app to other programs.

“We know MSNBC has a passionate audience and we live in an active, nonstop, constant world,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in announcing the app’s debut. “This is only the start for MSNBC, and we’re excited to roll out a whole digital plan this year with no boundaries.”

CNN recently released an iPad app to rave reviews, and ABC News and BBC news both have innovative, iPad-dedicated apps as well.

Tell us what you think. Do you like being part of the conversation? Is the future so long 24/7 cable news, hello social TV news?