TV Un-Festival: Jonathan Tweed – BBC iPlayer Facebook app

Hackday – put iPlayer on Facebook, wanted to show the iPlayer team what they should be doing. People are too busy to watch TV. Times this week reported that usage of social networking site exploding and that this is going to have an impact on TV viewing.

When people aren’t watching TV they are either going out or going onto social networks like Facebook. Answer to this is to put TV on Facebook because that’s where people are – put your content where people can’t miss it. Problem – if they are not watching TV, how do they know which shows to watch. They trust their friends more than anyone else, so have to add social features so people can recommend things. Everything else has social features, but iPlayer doesn’t. So added social features to iPlayer, shows what friends are watching, and what they think of them, also have current pics on iPlayer, and last night’s TV. Provides a click through to iPlayer to download/watch the TV, so can also search iPlayer.

Can also add reviews, which adds to Facebook, and to iPlayer. That’s as far as it’s been taken so far. At the moment you have to seek out what your friends are watching but want to add in a notifier to tell you what your friends are watching. Going to add recommendations. Want to find out what you think, what do we need to add to make it compelling?

Should we be doing this? Other companies are doing similar things? Should the BBC host a site where users are reviewing its programmes? What does it need? What would make it use it? What’s the future for Facebook applications? Is it a fad?, but need to be on the iPlayer beta at the moment. Once iPlayer comes out of beta it can be on the directory.

Q: Have you thought about widgets?

Yes, we are. But this isn’t an official project. Did this for Facebook because we can’t do it on MySpace or Bebo, but will put together widgets for other sites.

Q: Why do recommendations by brand?

We’re going to do it but programmes, or by genre, or whatever you want.

Q: What about the ability to become a critic?

That’s a good idea.

Q: Can you recommend stuff that’s not on iPlayer?

No, because it screen scrapes the iPlayer site. Quit hard to get access to the internal BBC data but because this is hosted externally we can’t. Value in the application. Need to get more stuff on there and use other ways of finding it. Is it reasonable for the BBC to do this?

Q: Is this programmes or just clips.

This is full programmes.

Q: Is it worldwide.

Application is available worldwide but iPlayer is UK-only.

[Lots of discussion about possible functionality which I’m not going to transcribe, because I’m getting tired now.]

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