Twitter deal lets viewers change channels from tweet (Update)

Oct 09, 2013
The logo of the social networking website 'Twitter' displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013.

Twitter unveiled a partnership Wednesday with Comcast and its NBCUniversal unit that allows television viewers to tune in to a show or change channels directly from a tweet.

The deal, which could also be expanded to other television or video producers, uses a "See It" button integrated in a tweet that allows a Twitter user to instantly connect to a TV program.

It builds on the use of Twitter as a "second screen" for television viewers, who use the messaging platform for real-time conversations, and in some cases votes, on a program.

Comcast said it will give subscribers of its Xfinity TV service the ability to change the channel, set the digital video recorder or play a show on demand, directly from an expanded tweet.

"Each day, Twitter plays host to the real-time conversation about television and a large portion of that conversation occurs while a program is live on the air," Twitter vice president Jana Messerschmidt said on the service's blog.

"Millions of people are exposed to tweets about a program, so much so that they're often motivated by the Twitter buzz to tune in. By partnering with Comcast, we'll be able to make it easier than ever to turn on the show everyone is talking about and jump into the conversation."

Messerschmidt said "See It" is designed to integrate with other video distribution partners, television networks and websites and added, "We look forward to working with Comcast to extend this offering to other partners who will connect more great content to Twitter. Ultimately, we want to make watching TV along with Twitter even more fun."

Comcast said "See It" will debut in November with shows from NBCUniversal networks.

"See It is a simple yet powerful feature that creates an instant online remote control," said Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts.

"Comcast is taking a leap forward in social TV by enabling Twitter users to more easily find and view the shows they want to watch and discover new shows. Twitter complements the live viewing experience and is an ideal partner for Comcast and NBCUniversal."

Twitter, which has about 218 million active users worldwide, is in the process of launching a public offering to raise some $1 billion.

Comcast and Twitter also announced a new advertising partnership that will enable NBCUniversal advertising clients to expand their TV and digital sponsorships to Twitter.

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