What Are TiVo's Social Intentions?

Dave Zatz —  August 6, 2013


Let’s face it, most social apps and interaction on television platforms are tedious silos… including TiVo’s very own Twitter app that launched on Virgin Media in 2011. However, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers has communicated that family and friends will “soon” be able to share viewing recommendations. And we wonder if, instead of managing this through a television UI, it’d be handled via the so-called “second screen.” A number of clues indicate that may be the case… Beyond TiVo’s upcoming TV Everywhere portal, a commissioned tivo.com redesign concept by Haraldur Thorleifsson and hosted on Dribbble includes a Friends tab indicating “TiVo is social. See what your friends are watching.” Of course, this text is most likely a placeholder. Yet, likely indicative of what TiVo’s been percolating. Indeed, TiVo Director Evan Young conveyed at the 2nd Screen CES Summit that the company has been researching things like user profiles, yet is taking a thoughtful approach – intending to add value in a non-creepy manner.

7 responses to What Are TiVo's Social Intentions?

  1. Still doubt we’ll ever see Season Pass sharing or our own “Guru Guides” … Whatever they come up with, I hope it’s not linked to Facebook and wonder if it’s based on the Pique initiative?

  2. “TiVo Director Evan Young conveyed at the 2nd Screen CES Summit that the company has been researching things like user profiles, yet is taking a thoughtful approach – intending to add value in a non-creepy manner.”

    May I humbly suggest an integrated camera and microphone?

    Now that Intel is supposedly backing off on that front, TiVo could corner the market.

  3. Did TiVo give you any indication during their demo at The Cable Show about when they would be rolling out their TV Everywhere portal with partner MSOs, such as RCN? Everyone from TiVo and RCN I’ve asked seems to be under a gag order on the subject.

  4. I didn’t actually speak to any TiVo reps at the Show and, historically, the company doesn’t give out dates ahead of time and only talks in broad strokes regarding timing. Seems like this has been under development for some time and what I saw looked fairly mature. I’d say it surely has to be this year. Then again, TiVo’s tech may be ready but licensing, legal, partners, etc may not.

  5. As you point out in the Pique comment, TiVo has been exploring approaches to social for quite some time. I’m hoping we’ll see something truly innovative. I have no interest in a twitter or facebook app on my TV. I do like the idea of recommendations tweaked by friends or even experts that tend to like the same shows that I like. TiVo has submitted a number of recent patent applications associated with a “Multimedia Mobile Personalization System” so perhaps the path they are going down is associated a user with a device and personalizing based on the device. The challenge for TiVo, Netflix, and others is how to seamlessly weave personalization so that it is compelling to the majority of users. From what I can see, the Netflix user profiles have received a somewhat lukewarm reception at this point.

  6. Tivo/Pique would be a good tool if it combined the social part of facebook, the inventory aspect of FollowShows.com, and a wishlist function — and pushed it to a search and record functionality on Tivo.com or the tivo app.

    For example:
    1) My friend Bob watched “The Avengers” on Blu-ray. It shows up as “bob watched the avengers” and then the website/app links to ways that I can watch it. “coming up on starz!”
    2) I’d like to record shows with Rashida Jones. But cross reference that with episodes of “Parks & Rec” and “The Office” that I’ve marked as watched. Only record programming that I haven’t marked as watched.
    3) Become a twitter/facebook exclusively for TV/movies discussion. Use hashtags, or an equivalent to show/hide spoilers. Until you check “watched Breaking Bad s05e09”, your friends’ discussions tagged #BreakingBad #s05e09 will be hidden from your view. Provide a way post a spoiler-free link onto your facebook stream, that leads to the site where the post is.

  7. I have said it over and over, but I just want Trakt.TV implemented with TiVo. I don’t care about facebook and twitter. I just want a better tool that tracks what I have watched cross-platform. It is one of the things I miss about Media Center.