Being a FiOS subscriber, I was excited a week back when I’d heard the telco TV provider’s widget bazaar featuring Facebook and Twitter for the TV had gone live. As an analyst covering the migration of social media from the web to the mobile screen, I’ve long felt that the next destination for the Twitter train would be TV.
First impressions? The FiOS Facebook widget worked for me largely due to the ability to view friends’ photos, while the Twitter widget was hardly more than a public stream of tweets around TV shows.
With the Facebook widget and photo viewing, I was happy with the overall image quality. I was able to view pictures of friends and family easily, and had the option to view each image full-screen. While slightly pixelated, full screen images looked decent on my 42″ plasma.
The Twitter widget didn’t impress. While the user can search tweets and look at tweets about the current show, they can’t load their own Twitter page or actually tweet. I don’t know about you, but looking at public tweet streams about shows isn’t my idea of a good time. My feeling is a Twitter widget for TV should allow you to load up your own Twitter ID and tweet from the widget itself, and even possibly exchange tweets with others watching the same show.
While FiOS’s first run at social media widgets is a mixed bag, I do commend them on their efforts. In my recent weekly update on GigaOM Pro (subscription required), I talk about how the migration of social web to the TV is inevitable, even as today’s early implementations such as those from FiOS are rudimentary in nature. I also explain how the social TV will succeed by optimizing the experience around three basic feature sets: sharing and discussion, recommendation and visual communication.
The FiOS widget for Facebook hits on one of these feature sets pretty well through photo sharing, but the Twitter widget basically misses the mark on all three.