(NEW YORK) — For many, watching TV now means alternating between two screens — the big one in the living room and the small one in your hand. On that smaller phone or tablet screen, many are checking Twitter to see what the chatter is around what’s happening on the big one.
Twitter, NBC Universal and Comcast have now teamed up to make those screens talk to each other. With a new “See It” feature that will roll out to Comcast Xfinity subscribers, users will be able to use the Twitter app as a remote control.
Underneath tweets from NBC or from NBC Shows, there will be a “See It” button. Tapping on that will let users log in with their cable username and password and then from there be able to change the channel to that program. They will also be able to set the DVR to record it or play a show On Demand, all of that right from the Twitter app.
Starting next month, the feature will be available to only Comcast Xfinity subscribers. The “See It” button will begin appearing in tweets about The Voice and Sunday Night Football at first, Twitter and Comcast announced Wednesday.
While Twitter isn’t detailing when the service might come to other providers and TV networks, the company’s VP of Business Development & Platform Jana Messerschmid said in a blog post that “See It is designed to integrate with other video distribution partners, television networks and websites.”
The move to control the TV by using Twitter is the social network’s biggest tie-in with TV yet, but certainly not the first to focus on the bigger screen. In its IPO filing, released last week, Twitter details its efforts in the TV space at length. And earlier this week, Twitter and Nielsen launched Twitter TV ratings. Every week Nielsen will list the top shows based on the number of Tweets. This week ABC’s Scandal topped the list with MTV’s Miley: The Movement right behind it.
However, Nielsen revealed that while many are tweeting about the shows, much more are seeing those tweets. “If 2,000 people are tweeting about a program, 100,000 people are seeing those Tweets,” according to Nielsen.
To that end, “See It” might just be the ticket for Twitter to bring more people into the conversation. It’s much easier to start chatting about a show in 140-characters if tuning in is just a tap away.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Millie Behra, FamilyShare