TV recognition app to give Facebook the social TV edge
| 22 May 2014
The newly launched Facebook TV recognition mobile app represents a critical advantage in the firm's battle with Twitter and others to dominate the social TV sector and associated advertising revenue says research firm Futurescape.

The app listens to the audio from the TV set when a user begins composing a status update. Within a few seconds, it can identify the show and offer an opt-in icon that lets users incorporate what they are watching. Furthermore, they can automatically show friends what they are watching and create a status update to share it with their friends.

This means, says Futurescape, Facebook is at a distinct advantage when compared with rivals in social TV, including Sham, Twitter, Beamly, Tumblr and BuzzFeed. It notes that with the app Facebook is at a stroke, able to leverage people's habit of using the social network while watching from 160 TV channels, making it as easy as possible to share their favourite shows with their social circle.

Futurescape added: "Twitter has no comparable functionality. A user still has to identify what they are watching by writing it into a tweet, typically with a hashtag. The most popular app with this form of automatic content recognition (ACR) is Shazam. Like the new Facebook service, Shazam can readily identify both music and TV programming. Some of the specialist Social TV apps, such as Beamly (formerly Zeebox), have also integrated ACR to help their users to initiate Social TV conversations. Yet any advantage that they have enjoyed through their own ACR has now been wiped out. Competition in the Social TV sector has been hotting up, with both BuzzFeed and particularly Tumblr as new entrants, partnering with broadcasters to drive tune-in and to tap Social TV ad revenue. ACR gives Facebook a considerable advantage over them, too."