See It: Twitter as your TV’s newest remote control.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

All right. So, my Twitter feed has essentially devolved into one-line proclamations about “The Good Wife.” I’m one season and six episodes into the series, and it is, without any question in my small mind, the best show on television today. The same thing happened when I discovered “In Treatment” via DVD. I watch an episode, feel the need to shout from mountaintops how genius I think the stuff is, and retreat back into my tiny world filled with podcasts and film fests.

Why do I do it? Well, why do you do it? Jerk.

No, but really: I’m not quite sure, to be truthful. While I have been loud about my detestation for all things social media (read: modern), I’ve grown into somewhat of a lust-driven affair with Twitter. It’s short. A lot of people are funny (and, of course, a lot more aren’t). You don’t have to be particularly personal. There will never be an actual photo of me, walking up a hill wearing rugged clothes and a smile on my face. And, maybe more so now than ever, it’s actually a bit of a tool for news-gathering types, of which I happen to be one.

Plus (and this is the point that pertains to this post), it offers up the ability to find people with like-minded interests, and the best part of the whole operation is that to engage in such like-minded interest communication, the give-and-take is minimal at best. Here’s 140 characters about why Michael J. Fox showing up on “The Good Wife” made my soul smile. Thank you and good night. By the time I wake up the next morning, maybe some lady from Montana will then write, “I know. Wasn’t that great?!” I say, “Yes.” She says nothing. And we all feel a little more well-rounded because of it.

Not convinced? Check the numbers:

“Tweets about TV content have been growing fast enough to convince Nielsen to begin tracking Twitter conversations about TV,” Thomas Claburn, of Information Week, wrote Wednesday. “Metrics service SocialGuide claims that 19 million individuals in the U.S. sent 263 million tweets about live TV in the second quarter of 2013, a 24% year-over-year increase in participation and a 38% increase in tweet volume.”

Thank you, Miley.

Anyway, enter “See It,” a brand-spanking-new approach for millionaires to turn into billionaires by way of a tiny social forum provided to us by animated birds. As it goes, Comcast, ye of most prominent cable company in the universe lore, is offering up the ability to actually watch these shows/events as they happen via Twitter. Or something like that.

From a predictably Go Team! Q&A the company posted on its website …

“It’s a simple but exciting tool that helps people more easily watch the shows they read about or discover online,” the thing reads. “See It lets people tune-in or record their favorite shows — directly from the conversations happening on Twitter. In a typical week, #thevoice generates more than 350,000,000 Twitter impressions. What’s missing is how to seamlessly move from that conversation to consumption. And that’s where See It comes in. When See It launches in November, it will be a feature on Twitter that gives Xfinity TV customers the ability to control their TV directly from a tweet. We will launch initially with great shows from NBCUniversal like The Voice and events like Sunday Night Football, but we’ll add other networks and programming as well.”

Wait. There’s more. And it gets good:

“When you’re on Twitter, you’re either seeing tweets from shows like The Voice prompting tune-in or maybe a trending topic about something that happened on The Blacklist. I am a fan of both shows, but how do I act on these conversations? See It will be integrated into a show’s tweet, so that with the click of a button, I can change the channel on my TV right away, record it or even watch on my mobile device.”

Twitter as a remote control. How neat?!

The problem? Naturally, you have to have a Comcast subscription in order to use this clever, little feature. If you’re me, or anyone else who does the whole TV Without A TV thing … well, that’s a tough break. But hey — there are still things of value we can take from this development. Those things?

1) Part of the plan, as you’ll see if you click any of the links, is to offer up video clips of said programming into Twitter feeds. Really want to see highlights from that football game? Rather than head over to ESPN to see if it actually has a video that works, you can pull up the clip right then and there. And while that may not mean much to those who aren’t Comcast subscribers, it at least suggests that this might just be where a lot of the future is heading, cable subscriptions or not. Read this, and you’ll see what I mean.

2) For as idiotic as Twitter once seemed, back when Facebook was ruling the world and the thought of having to stay in the parameters of 140 characters (because what we all have to say is sooooo important) seemed impossible, this thing has quite a bit of clout now. In a galaxy that is outlandishly crowded with technological tools designed to hold our attention for no longer than 45 seconds (how you doin’, Snapchat!?), Twitter has been the most successful at being a go-to place for television chatter. The future is increasingly becoming less “the future” and more “now” as Twitter continues to integrate these neat little features into the common TV consumer’s consciousness. The more interconnected this becomes, the more subliminal the process of weaning people off a box set and onto an Internet connection proves to be.

And 3) Holy mackerel, isn’t this idea just so … cool? No, but seriously. Back when Hotmail was still a thing and people had to unplug their phones in order to connect to the World Wide Internet, the notion of controlling your television from that big, heavy, always-too-slow box seemed about as plausible as a Mazzy Star reunion or a black president, though lest we be reminded: Yes, friends. That was a mere 15 years ago.

Just imagine where we’ll be in a couple decades. “Google Glass Class” for preschoolers, anyone?

And so it goes. Twitter is taking over the world and it hasn’t even earned a penny yet. Quite the existence we have, people. Quite the existence we have.

Now watch this, place an Amazon order, and have yourself a wonderful weekend!

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