Facebook makes case for social TV guides

Twitter isn’t the only social platform that loves TV — Facebook, too, is courting television programmers, marketers and distributors to embrace social TV. Facebook’s Andy Mitchell told a crowd at the TV marketing conference PromaxBDA today that social program guides are a growing opportunity.

“If you look at the program guide [now], you’re trying to figure out what to watch among five hundred channels. It’s really hard,” Mitchell said. “But think about a program guide where you see what your friends are watching, that changes the experience.”

As we wrote last week, the social program guide is a billion-dollar opportunity in social TV. Facebook says its users have “liked” TV shows 1.65 billion times, becoming a natural recommendation engine for TV. Comcast has even built the like button into its new cable experience, so viewers can “like” a show straight from their remote controls.

Beyond the “like,” Facebook also offers the ability to schedule and check into events, which could have interesting implications for a social TV guide (as we highlighted in this story). Speaking earlier this year, Facebook’s Christian Hernandez Gallardo says they’ve spoken with broadcasters about the idea of “putting their full EPG (electronic programming guide) as events on Facebook and the ability to RSVP and check-in to all of them.”

While today’s presentation at ProxasBDA didn’t break any news, it illustrates that Facebook is serious about social TV. “Where we wanna go with television is creating a social experience,” Gallardo said last month. “The thing I’m dying to make social is the EPG.”

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