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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(s aapl) in the App Store, and an Android(s goog) 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.

12 Responses to “GetGlue becomes tvtag, focuses on curated TV moments”

  1. Former Glubie

    I used getglue for years and through the other users discovered shows, movies, music, games, and books that I would have never experienced otherwise. Taking that aspect away serves what purpose? Does Pelo own a percentage of certain shows, channels, or studios which would cause him not wanting us to discover new things?

    I don’t know the 50 people that get to determine what I should be interested in, and that gives me no incentive to bother. I chose to follow people on getglue because of we had common interests. Knowing they enjoyed similar interests prompted me to try out the things that I had never heard about. A good amount of those things are still being watched by me, listened to by me, read by me, and I can’t understand how that is viewed as negative by Pelo. Without GetGlue I would not have known about or watched Game of Thrones from the night the premiere first aired because I only learned about it from users on GetGlue. I would not have known about older movies and books that I am grateful for experiencing without the users from GetGlue. That ability is gone.

    With shows airing at different times in different locations why bother checking in and having the episode spoiled for me hours before it airs? That doesn’t sound like entertainment to me. I also have no desire to speak about a show while it is on, because I’d rather watch it. I know GetGlue and it’s users opened my eyes to things that I know I would not have ever tried. I am terrified of any zombie movies, but a few people I followed finally talked me into watching The Walking Dead. They shared their fear of zombie movies and assured me that even if some scenes were scary that the characters make the zombies a secondary issue. They were correct and I caught up with weekend marathons before the season began last year. I have watched each episode as it aired this season, and the new tag nonsense would have never allowed for this to happen.

    I think Pelo should have asked users what they enjoyed about Getglue before changing it. He said they don’t want to cater to sticker fans but television fans. He failed to take into account that most of us were earning stickers because of being television fans. It had a 2 star rating in app store, and it looks as though a new app was released to get out from under the horrid ratings. I don’t think that will help, and I think this will fizzle completely.

  2. JessieJames Taylor

    TVTAG BLOWS!!! No physical copies of stickers anymore. I, along with many others Im sure, collected those stickers. GetGlue stikers were freaking AWESOME!!! I wouldn’t have even minded paying a few bucks for them, but to not give us the option at all? LAME! TO take away book, music, video game check ins? LAME! Totally new color and setup scheme? LAME! I will be deleting my account. GetGlue was the shit. TvTag SUCKS ASS!!!!


    A pissed off former user

  3. AuntKimmie

    All of that sounds like a waste of time. As for the “curated moments”..i mean, really ? The USERS were the ones who put out the hot lines; and talked about the hot scenes in a show or movie. Sounds to me like this has turned into a group of idiots trying to steer its users into watching certain shows by defining what’s hot and what’s not.
    I miss I really do. This tvtag mess ? Please. I couldn’t be bothered with it. Why they would take a great site like Get Glue and mess it up is beyond me.

  4. I mostly checked into movies especially opening weekends! Now it’s all tv? Wtf? No announcement had to Google to find this article after I couldn’t find my app and I stumbled upon one I never remember giving permission to download. It was bad enough when they took away the real stickers. Now I’m just going to delete the whole thing. Need a new way to track what I watch.

  5. Mich Sineath

    Curated TV moments is a great idea. GIFs are hot, if GetGl.. er, tvtag, can manage that arena — especially during live events — I can see myself checking in more often. Honestly, GetGlue faded to the background long ago. And its latest auto-tweet “Come talk about {TV SHOW] with me on GetGlue” was so annoying that I stopped checking in completely. All that said, tvtag is a better name, I guess; and my profile and check-ins transferred over just fine.

  6. ThingsThatMakeUGoHm

    Only 12 GetGlue employees transitioned over to TVTag. Not a good omen. I’m already disgusted by the unannounced transition, being unable to log in today, having received no email all day to reset my password, and from what I’ve heard on Twitter, it’s setting everyone back to zero check ins. Not sure if this also means all our replies/messages are gone, in addition to our favorite TV shows, stickers, etc.

    • Nicole Harrison

      Your Activity feed is gone, if you want to talk to the people you used to be able to talk to you have to look up their profile and see what they are watching now.