A skunkworks project within Comcast (s CMCSA) dubbed Tunerfish that’s aimed at using game mechanics to chart the social graph for video was announced at TechCrunch Disrupt today. By enticing users to share what they’re watching with their friends, Tunerfish will create social recommendations while also rewarding those users for their influence in getting others to watch programming.
Like a Foursquare for video, Tunerfish uses game mechanics to entice users to share what they’re watching with other members of their social circle, either through the Tunerfish site or a dedicated iPhone app, giving users badges and other awards for their checkins. Users can also comment on shows they or other are watching and have those comments show up on Twitter and Facebook.
Users logged into the site are met with a list of trending shows, based upon what all Tunerfish users are watching, as well as a list of their friends’ activity. By charting which programs are popular, while also tracking what users are checking in and how they’re finding new types of content, Tunerfish will be able to build a sort of social graph for video viewing. The system will allow Tunerfish to determine the influence of certain users and provide awards as a result.
According to John McCrea, founder of Tunerfish and VP of marketing for Comcast-owned social network Plaxo, the project was created by a team of four Plaxo developers in their spare time, from January through March. Once it got approval from Comcast execs, Tunerfish took on a life of its own.
Tunerfish is currently in private alpha testing, but McCrea expects the site and a dedicated iPhone app to launch in public beta within the next few weeks. The group is also busy working on an Android app that will have all the same functionality.
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