Facebook has cooked up a new way for its more than 800 million users to find videos and share them with friends in real time — but for now, it’s not syncing with cable networks or operators.
TiVo, Netflix, Hulu and Blockbuster have buddied up with the social-media powerhouse to make it even easier for Facebook members to flaunt their TV- and movie-watching habits. The companies made the announcements at Facebook’s f8 developers conference last month in San Francisco, where the social website touted a new real- time linking feature aimed at letting people share media.
Hulu’s integration with Facebook will let users see what their friends are current ly watching on the video site, popping up a video player to let them instantly watch the same TV show or movie.
TiVo, meanwhile, plans to update its iPhone and iPad apps to provide tighter integration with Facebook that will allow users to see programs their friends indicate they “like,” as well as the programs their friends are currently watching. Using the TiVo iPad and iPhone apps, they can then schedule a DVR recording or tune in live based on those recommendations.
“With this improved Facebook integration, TiVo users can discover things to watch from the new social guide, and can feature their entertainment experiences and choices with their friends,” TiVo vice president and general manager of product marketing Jim Denney said.
The enhanced Facebook integration for TiVo’s iPhone and iPad apps is expected to be introduced later this year.
Dish Network’s Blockbuster is developing an app focused on movie rentals that will let customers watch movies through Facebook, via an embedded video player.
For its part, Netflix will introduce a feature on Facebook to let subscribers share which videos and DVDs they’ve recently watched or are currently watching — but it will be available only in Canada and 43 Latin American and Caribbean countries.
In the U.S., a privacy law barring video-rental companies from sharing customers’ selections prevents Netflix from introducing the feature, CEO Reed Hastings said at the Facebook event.
Facebook announced partnerships with other companies, including music service Spotify, which will let users share playlists and listen to the same songs their friends are at the same time.