Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 28-09-2011 Premium cable channel Showtime is joining the social TV phenomenon with an iPad app, "Showtime Social," that will allow viewers to see real-time commentary about Showtime programming while allowing users to interact with the programming.
Users can answer polls, make predictions and share instant reactions with friends on Facebook and Twitter, posting directly to those sites from within the app.
Menu navigation is overlaid over the app's full-screen video player for video browsing. Consumers can watch in-depth behind the scenes features, browse photo galleries, view the latest episode previews, movie trailers, custom webisodes and sample full episodes.
However, the Social app is separate from Showtime Anytime, a TV Everywhere service that viewers will be able to authenticate to with their pay-TV credentials. Anytime will be launching soon.
The app also features a community layer, which will filter content according to the area of the app where a user is browsing - for example, if a user is browsing the DEXTER page, then the app only shows DEXTER content. Users can directly post to Facebook and Twitter via the app, and can share, retweet and reply directly from the app to all of the content that appears in the community bar.
As the episode draws to a close, the app encourages viewers to stick around to see an interactive "heat map" depicting how viewers reacted throughout the episode. This presentation allows users to swipe through the episode timeline minute-by-minute, displaying the range of the audience reactions at each point in time.
Rounding out the capabilities is a sortable schedule for Showtime programming is included, which provides the ability to set program tune-in reminders. It also provides information about how to order Showtime, and links directly to the website the provider selected by a user