Hulu is getting a lot more social with new features based on Facebook Connect. In a blog post Friday, the online video distributor announced that users will now be able to log into the service with their Facebook account, comment on specific moments in a show or clip they are watching, interact with friends on Hulu and discover new content based on what their friends are watching. Not just that, but Hulu is offering a free month of Hulu Plus to anyone who signs up with Facebook Connect.
Starting with the login, the Facebook Connect integration ties your Hulu account to the social network, allowing you to easily share what you’re watching on Hulu with your friends. With a share button directly below the video player, Facebook-connected users can now link to specific moments in the video and send those moments into their Facebook feeds.
But the integration isn’t just about surfacing clips and shows on your Facebook wall; it goes both ways. Friends that connect their Hulu and Facebook accounts will have their viewing patterns displayed on a new personalized homepage — so you don’t even need to go to Facebook to see what they’re watching. While providing social recommendations, it also allows you to interact with people that watch the same shows you do.
For Hulu, connecting with Facebook is a no-brainer. It enables its viewers to more easily share videos with their friends and could help drive viewership of its content. And by tying a free Hulu Plus subscription to Facebook Connect, it could potentially introduce a whole new group of paying users to its $7.99 a month subscription service. Even if just a small number of users convert to paying subscribers, it will have drastically increased its paid user base.
And for Facebook, the deal shows again how important the social network is becoming in helping its users to find and discover video content. Not only do they watch a ton of video on the site, but it’s quickly becoming the social video recommendation engine for many online video distributors.