GetGlue becomes tvtag, focuses on curated TV moments

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Remember GetGlue? The social TV pioneer got bought by Utah-based social TV startup i.TV late last year, and now, GetGlue’s user base is being transitioned to a new app dubbed tvtag that takes some elements of the original and combines them with a more curated effort towards second screen interaction.

The new tvtag app.

The new tvtag app.

Tvtag does this by employing more than 50 curators, i.TV CEO Brad Pelo explained during an interview Monday. These curators watch live TV feeds from a total of 70 networks and segment them in real-time to tag what the company calls “TV moments” — important scenes, key quotes, goal shots and more. Users of the app can then communicate around these moments in near-real-time through comments, shared screenshots and more.

Pelo said that in addition to these curated moments, tvtag offers much of the same functionality as GetGlue’s app, including the ability to check in on any show and share these check-ins on Twitter. Yup, even the stickers are still there.

But there are two key differences: GetGlue had been experimenting with becoming more of a TV guide before it got acquired by i.TV, but Pelo told me that he decided to get rid of that functionality and not focus on discovery because it’s quickly becoming commoditized. “Most of us already know what we want to watch,” he said.

Also gone is any kind of automatic content recognition. Unlike other apps in this space, tvtag doesn’t listen in on what’s playing on TV, and it doesn’t communicate with your cable box either to automatically check in on the shows you’re watching. Three years ago, every app maker in this space thought automatic content recognition was necessary, Pelo said, adding: “It turned out to be an unnecessary burden.”

Tvtag is available for the iPhone in the App Store, and an Android version will follow in the next two weeks. Pelo told me that his company has a total of 85 employees, including 12 from the former GetGlue crew. At its peak, GetGlue had 45 employees.

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