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Verizon lets viewers tweet & update their status on TV


When we recently reported on Verizon’s sponsorship of the New York Mets’ interactive big screen, we noticed that the telecom giant is also bringing social media to the small screen, with a Twitter widget for its FiOS fiber optic TV service. The widget, freely available to all FiOS subscribers, is displayed on one half of the TV screen, allowing viewers to continue watching their favourite show while following a related feed or discussing it with their followers on Twitter. The Twitter widget, available to the approximately 2.5 million households with FiOS TV, has been very successful so far, with some 1 million users in the first few days. It’s part of a suite of applications available to FiOS customers through the service’s ‘Widget Bazaar’, which also includes a Facebook app—proving popular for picture sharing—and, which hosts user-produced video content. Following in the footsteps of Apple’s trendsetting App Store, Verizon has announced that it will also be opening the Widget Bazaar to third-party developers. Older technologies that have sought to integrate the web and TV have failed to make much of an impact, and it remains to be seen whether new television interfaces will be able to compete with the laptops, netbooks and smartphones that have already joined their owners on the living room couch. The larger implications are less uncertain: by giving viewers real-time connectivity as they watch, Verizon is tapping into a growing consumer trend. More about that in our sister-site’s latest briefing on nowism. Spotted by: Duncan Rickelton



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