Converged services company Integra5 announced today that it has changed its name to MediaFriends to better reflect the company’s extended reach into social media environments.
Integra5 made its mark as one of the early proponents of converged, or blended, services, specifically Caller ID on TV and then Caller ID on PC. The new name expands on the company’s focus of taking social media beyond the PC and SMS beyond the mobile phone, with the end goal of delivering new applications that combine communications across the three screens – TVs, PCs and mobile phones.
“Consumers are communicating differently today and have expectations that no matter where they are or what device they are using, that the experience will be seamless and real-time,” said Meredith Flynn-Ripley, president and CEO of MediaFriends. “MediaFriends is about empowering video and mobile operators to generate new forms of revenue by putting users at the center of their communities of friends, content and communications and making them accessible across different networks and devices.”
The MediaFriends name is based on the company’s MediaFriends application suites, which include MediaFriends Chat and MediaFriends Device-2-Device. MediaFriends Chat, which allows viewers to watch a show together while sharing text messages in real time, made its debut last year.
MediaFriends Chat provides video operators and programmers with a way to differentiate programming and keep users engaged by participating in real-time, SMS-based chat sessions with their own private communities on their TV, PC or mobile phone.
MediaFriends D2D can also offer new revenue streams for mobile operators – through the creation of more SMS endpoints – allowing users to engage in two-way SMS texting between their mobile phone and PC, or any IP device.
Converged services have proven to be good applications for reducing customer churn and adding incremental revenue if service providers chose to include an additional monthly charge.
MediaFriends has deployed its converged services with more than 40 operators across seven countries, including Liberty Global-owned VTR in Chile.