Microsoft keeps expanding the Social TV features for the Xbox One console
The latest additions aim to help users discover TV content via social media.
The platform’s November updates include live TV Trending, Twitter TV Trending and Xbox TV Trending.
Live TV Trending
Xbox One owners in the USA, Canada and the UK will see a new Trending tab in OneGuide that displays the top 20 most-watched TV shows. The live TV on Xbox trending list is updated by the minute, so users can easily discover shows which are currently popular with other viewers.
Twitter TV Trending
Available initially in the USA, this shows which live TV programming is trending, based on the highest number of tweets. The Trending tab displays live TV on Twitter first and live TV on Xbox trending second. Users can tune to a specific show from either of the trending lists.
Tweets in the MiniGuide
The Xbox One’s MiniGuide, which appears at the bottom of the TV screen, will also integrate tweets for US users. These are the actual tweets for the live TV shows, in real time. Users can quickly find the appropriate Twitter #hashtag to join the conversation.
(Screenshot from the TV series Consequences, integrating a tweet in the MiniGuide, with the show’s hashtag.)
These new features build on the highly innovative Skype Social TV integration which launched in December 2013. From our original blog post:
Microsoft innovates in Social TV
Microsoft is launching what looks set to be the most consumer-friendly Social TV service yet, integrating Skype video chat with live TV viewing and targeting sports fans.
The latest version of Microsoft’s games console and digital entertainment centre, the Xbox One, is now being marketed as a Social TV device.
The selling point is that it has Skype pre-installed and lets Xbox owners “Talk to friends while you’re watching TV, movies or playing games. Now it’s even easier to invite the whole gang into your living room — no matter where they are.”
While Social TV is now typically a second screen experience, with people talking, texting, tweeting and Facebooking via tablets and smartphones while viewing TV, the Xbox offer a face-to-face Social TV experience completely integrated into the main TV screen.
Social TV for sports fans
A banner ad currently running within Skype itself suggests, “Talk to friends while watching live TV.”
(Skype Xbox Social TV ad)
The Skype Web site is quite clear that sports is the live TV which people want to talk about.
(Skype Xbox sports Social TV chat)
Xbox Live in the USA offers sports via ESPN and it enables individuals to set up user profiles and receive customised content about the sports, leagues and teams they follow.
In the UK, a deal with BSkyB offers the Sky Go service, with seven sports channels and other movie and entertainment channels.
However, there is the potential for people to find other TV programming to view together.
The Xbox One has Social TV discovery built in, which can help users identify friends who are also fans of TV shows.
“Discover what TV shows and movies are popular among your friends and what is trending within the Xbox community.
Other key features of Skype via Xbox One include:
- 1080p HD-quality video chat
- Group calls with up to four participants
- Every console ships with a Kinect and the camera automatically zooms in on the people in a video chat
The most mainstream Social TV service yet?
The combination of sports content, that fans naturally want to discuss, Skype being integrated into the Xbox One, and Social TV as a key element in the marketing combine to make this easy-to-use and arguably the most mainstream consumer Social TV service yet.
With over a billion Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging users discussing their TV viewing on second screens, Social TV is crucial for ratings success and advertising effectiveness.
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