Tweek.tv wants to be your social TV guide

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Berlin-based social TV startup Tweek.tv is emerging from stealth mode Tuesday morning with an iPad-optimized web app that utilizes your Facebook social graph to recommend movies and TV shows you should watch. Tweek will slowly open to a few thousand beta testers in the coming days, then launch to the general public early next year, co-founder Marcel Duee said during a phone conversation Monday. Duee also told me about a “high six-figure” funding round that will officially be announced later Tuesday.

The idea behind Tweek.tv is simple: The site pulls in Facebook data to recommend things to watch online. However, Duee told me Tweek isn’t trying to compete with social discovery apps like Showyou that simply ingest any video posted by your Facebook friends. Instead, it concentrates on movies and TV shows as well as professional web-only content. “60 percent of all likes on Facebook are for movies and TV shows,” Duee told me.

I had the chance to play a little with Tweek.tv over the last few days, and have to say I liked what I saw, though the site still clearly has some work to do. Currently, it only links to online resources for movies, and TV show entries still lack a proper taxonomy to separate individual seasons and episodes.

Duee also explained it has been a challenge to deal with some of the Facebook data, which is messy because movies like Inception are liked through a bunch of different resources, like the IMDB page and pages directly on Facebook. “We have to clean up the data a lot,” he said.

Another challenge has been to make sense of the resulting data. Simply presenting a Top 10 of movies wouldn’t be very interesting, mused Duee, because a large majority would like Pulp Fiction. Instead, he wants to help users surface lesser-known content. Not every activity registered on Facebook is necessarily a recommendation, he added.

Duee told me Tweek.tv purposely developed a web app first to rapidly expand to multiple platforms. He said the app will be available wrapped in native applications once the service opens to the public in early 2012.

Tweek.tv was founded by three Berlin startup veterans coming from Plazes and Gate5. The company recently secured a “high six-figure” funding round from bmp media investors, Catagonia Capital and Euroserve Media, which is officially going to be announced later today. Tweek.tv currently has a team of six, but is looking to hire additional talent.

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