Verizon Fixes the FiOS Twitter Fail


Behold, the power of our colleague Michael Wolf to sway communications giants! Well, that might be overstating it, but earlier this week, Michael wrote a piece about how lame Verizon’s (s VZ) FiOS Twitter app for the TV was (it was just a public stream of tweets about shows). Looks like the squeaky wheel (or lots of disappointed customers) gets the grease because Verizon said this morning via a blog post that it’s expanding the social features of its TV service.

Eric W. Rabe, senior vice president of media relations for Verizon Communications, wrote:

Customers tell us they love the new “social TV” Widgets, but they wanted more. They want to send Tweets, not just look at them. They want to create their own unique Facebook status messages.

Done and done. We have already made the upgrades in New York City, and soon we’ll add them in all other FiOS TV markets too.

Subscribers can Tweet about the TV show they are watching or search and follow their friends’ Tweets.

Viewers can also update their Facebook status with their own messages.

Verizon shouldn’t brag too much about these updates. Twitter without the ability to actually tweet is kinda pointless, so these features should have been baked in from the get go. But already our readers have noticed the upgrades in NYC and even Jersey. For those that have FiOS, have you used the social apps? What do you think?


Michael Wolf

@Rob – I think one of the areas we’ll actually see alot of innovation in coming years is in the input device/remotes. As more TVs get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, I think you’ll see alot of consumer electronics makers offer downloadable smartphone (read iPhone and Android) apps to control the TV. The remotes from the carriers will likely stay fairly basis, but you might see some innovation and some offering low-end universal remotes with some better inputs like a QWERTY


I recently got FiOS (which I love) and actually suggested to Verizon through their online chat assistant, that they develop a remote with a slide out keyboard or a separate QWERTY-only device. This would make even their Search function much more efficient. The reply was basically, they received the suggestion many times before and passed them on to R&D. Wait and see I guess.

Chris Albrecht

@Cameron, I just did a post on how TV user interfaces need to adapt to a more search-based experience. To fully keyboard or not fully keyboard, that is the question.

You can check out the post at GigaOM Pro (subscription required, but its totally worth it.

Cameron McClurg

Some of the problems are easy to work out, some are not. For example, one of the problems that is easy to fix is an inability to search for a friend on the facebook app. My friend had just uploaded some mobile pics and I couldn’t find them except for going to his specific page (scrolling through all other friends). A feature similar to the news feed or ability to search for a friend would have sped this up.

But two examples of problems that are not easy to solve are the lack of a keyboard or input device besides the remote as well as bandwidth or speed of bringing data up. Between having to enter my login and password in with the remote (although it looks like they did add a feature to login using a code) and then finding my friend’s pictures, the process took me upwards of 2 minutes. Then scrolling through pics was very slow (click, wait… wait…). I’m not sure how a company like Verizon can fix either of those problems this side of providing keyboard remotes and increasing bandwidth/connection speed.


“For those that have FiOS, have you used the social apps? What do you think?”
Ther quite okay but not special. It’s more advertising than real use.

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