The interactive TV guide Fav.tv is opening its doors to the public Tuesday at the Demo Fall 2011 conference, complete with new apps for iOS and Android as well as a website that can be used to keep track one’s favorite TV shows. We covered Fav.tv’s private beta test back in July, and the company has been staying true to its minimalist philosophy, adding some new features but steering clear from check-ins, badges and other social clutter.
Many of Fav.tv’s competitors have adopted Foursquare-like check-in features for TV shows, but Fav.tv co-founder Saverio Mondelli told me during a phone conversation Monday that his company wants to engage people before and after they’re watching, not while a show is actually on TV. “TV is down time,” he said. “TV is about relaxation.” He argued that people woudn’t want to tweet while reading a good book either — so why push people away from immersing themselves in TV content?
So what does Fav.tv offer its users? At the core of the service is the ability to follow TV shows, allowing users to keep track of when new episodes are airing and mark off episodes that they have already watched. Fav.tv also aggregates news from around the web about each show, and it allows its users to talk about their favorite programming.
Mondelli told me that one of the biggest lessons of his company’s private beta test was how much people like a Facebook-like news stream that allows them to interact with content without explicitly browsing for a dedicated page of a TV show. That’s why Fav.tv added some content awareness to its text input fields, making it possible to detect structured data like the names of TV shows within status updates. This means that a user’s status updates about a show become part of that show’s news feed as soon as he mentions the show’s name.
Other new features include Facebook and Twitter integration as well as SMS and email reminders for new episodes. The site doesn’t yet offer links to Hulu or Netflix (s NFLX) to catch up on content online, but Mondelli said that this would be added some time in the near future.
Check out a few screenshots of Fav.tv’s new iPhone app below: