By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Englewood, Colo. – Dish unveiled Wednesday what it is calling the industry’s first set-top app that delivers on-screen social content relevant to a show or channel a viewer is watching.
The app, called “Social,” is the next in a series of new apps for the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR, and allows consumers to join social conversations about their favorite shows on their TV screen.
Dish said Social is capable of providing contextually-relevant social feeds. Fans can multitask between watching a show on TV and following social posts about it on the same screen.
In short, this means that consumers can interact with Twitter feeds relevant to shows they are watching or follow their own personal Twitter and Facebook feeds without leaving the screen or interrupting their viewing experience.
Dish said that with 32 million American Twitter users tweeting about TV programming last year, the new app plays into the new trend to let subscribers share and interact over what they’re watching.
The app allows connecting up to eight social media accounts to the Hopper DVR to post from within the app to personal Twitter and Facebook accounts. Viewers can interact with Twitter feeds relevant to on-screen shows and follow personal Twitter or Facebook feeds.
“Last year, Twitter saw 32 million Americans tweet about TV programming, an incredible display of consumer interest in wanting a more social experience from TV,” stated Jimshade Chaudhari, Dish director of product marketing and management. “Through our Social app, we’ve made it easier for consumers to follow social conversations and post in real-time without leaving their TV screen.”
The new Social app is accessible via Dish’s “quick launch” bar (to access, press the blue button on remote control) on the Hopper.
Viewers have three options for the type of content displayed in the status bar, which is located on the right side of the TV screen when the app is open. These include:
The Social app also contains a data bar at the bottom of the viewer’s TV screen that displays stats and relevant information related to the program being watched.
Displayed information includes stats about the top areas in the country where people are Tweeting about the program, the program’s sentiment rating, percentage of Tweeters by gender and frequency of Tweets.
Recently, Dish also announced enhancements to its Dish Anywhere mobile app that give consumers the ability to follow and post on Twitter and Facebook about shows they are viewing.
Earlier this year, Dish introduced the Dish Explorer second-screen app, which includes social features such as the ability for customers to track Twitter posts of fans of programs they are watching, and post directly to their Twitter and Facebook accounts from their iPad.
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