BBC iPlayer gets social

6 September 2010 No Comment Ian McGurren

The much anticipated revamp to the excellent BBC iPlayer is now live, and the biggest change is social interaction with Facebook and Twitter.

Using a simple to sign up for BBC ID, you can now link your Facebook page or Twitter feed with your viewing habits on the iPlayer. You’ll get a public profile on the iPlayer pages (it’ll even add in your profile picture from Facebook or Twitter too), and here you can see what you’ve recommended to others as well as comments and such that you’ve left throughout the such as message boards, for example.

A note of caution here – the BBC say these are searchable via search engines so just think twice if you want all that open to the public at large.

While this is all very good, it’s sociable but a little insular, and this is where Friends come in. Thankfully not the same 90s sitcom that went down the pan when romance got involved, the friends here are your friends, and on their pages you’ll find their personal recommendations of TV and radio programmes.

Plus, when iPlayer is linked into Facebook or Twitter, any recommendation you make is then posted to your BBC ID page, your Facebook page and your Twitter feed, along with any comment you’ve made about it. It’ll also pick up on Facebook and Twitter friends who have also got a BBC ID automatically, giving you a wide range of recommendations from the off.

This is still very basic social interaction but at the same time it is nice to see the BBC taking the social step. The bigger step will come when this is incorporated into devices running iPlayer apps, such as the Wii, PS3, iPhone, Web-aware TVs and forthcoming devices such as Google TV and iPlayer for Freesat HD. Only then, and at the touch of a button will we begin to see the impact social media can have on out televison habits, and it will certainly be very interesting.

 

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