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Video discovery app maker Fanhattan is getting a lot more social, integrating with Facebook’s Open Graph to allow its users to share what they’re watching with friends. It’s also quietly rolling out a Facebook app that will let its users search for and find web-based videos from directly within the social network.
Fanhattan had already begun work on making its mobile apps more social, by hooking up with Facebook Connect and allowing users to share what shows they had “liked” on the social network. But with the latest update to the Fanhattan iOS app, the startup is taking things a step further, connecting with Facebook’s Open Graph so that users can “seamlessly share” the TV shows and movies that they discover on the app to their timeline.
Users can set up the new app so that they automatically share what they’re watching just by going into their settings and choosing to share their activity. Or, if they’re a bit more finicky about letting everyone know they’re big Real Housewives fans, they can selectively toggle their social activity on or off — or even delete certain videos by removing it from their recent activity.
Fanhattan is pushing the Open Graph implementation as a way for users to show off their “video IQ,” and to gain the sort of social currency that comes with searching for and watching cool content. It’s also a way for them to keep track of what they’ve been watching.
The ancillary benefit to Fanhattan is that it could introduce a whole new method of content discovery through the social initiative. Fanhattan VP of Marketing and Product Chris Thun told me in a phone interview today that the company is working to enable three different types of content discovery — algorithmic, curated and social — and seeing what your friends are watching will help enable that last method.
In addition to integration with Open Graph, the startup is also using Facebook as a new place for users to search for and discover content, with the launch of a Facebook app that mirrors the mobile experience. Thun said Fanhattan wants to be available on all platforms and devices — whether they be iOS or Android phones or tablets, PCs through the web or connected TVs — and rolling out a Facebook app is one step in that direction.
Thun says the most recent update was simply a soft launch of new capabilities: Fanhattan is looking at this all as a first step toward building something bigger, and expects a more full-featured integration with Open Graph and an improved Facebook app over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, it’s going to see what the response to the new features are and refine its apps — both mobile and on the web — to improve the user experience.