Facebook has contracted with Rovi to use Rovi Video, the vendor’s database that includes information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities.
The immediate outcome will be that Facebook will give its users “more ways to express the things they love on their profiles.” But the phenomenon of TV viewers simultaneously using social media is a solid trend, and with the deal with Rovi, Facebook is giving app developers the tools to integrate Facebook use more tightly with television viewing.
In essence, Facebook is setting up to go beyond simply being a companion app that TV viewers casually use as an adjunct to their TV viewing, to become a second-screen app with functions that have the potential to directly complement and perhaps even integrate with content being viewed.
At the same time, this will create the potential for Rovi customers, including many service providers, to integrate Facebook social networking more directly in the TV experience.
“Facebook is creating a foundation that will make it easier for third-party app developers to build new services for its platform,” said Bob Shallow, SVP of sales and marketing at Rovi. “We believe that high-quality data is core to enabling consumers to have a deeper connection to entertainment.”
To start, Rovi will be able to enhance its current social media products by extending its mapping of Rovi IDs to a set of Facebook page IDs. This will make it easier for Rovi’s customers to include links to the corresponding movie and TV show Facebook pages in their products.
“We see the social interaction with movies, TV shows and video entertainment growing immensely over the next couple of years,” said Ime Archibong, platform partnerships, Facebook. “With this in mind, we’ve sought Rovi as a valuable source for TV and movie information to help provide the backdrop that we need to enable developers to create a connected experience for consumers in their apps and services.”
Facebook plans to use Rovi Video to help enrich Facebook users' experience in expressing their video preferences. But the deal will also enable Facebook app developers, including video service providers, to integrate Facebook more tightly with television viewing.