A Look at the Social EPG

When we previously discussed the history of the electronic program guide, we revealed that the next level for EPGs would be social iterations.

A social EPG consists of the traditional television listings supplemented with aspects of social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and/or other methods for engagement with people.

Several different IPTV publishers and app services are providing this kind of EPG now, and the trend seems to be growing in countries other than the United States.

Netherlands’ Veronica Publishing

The Veronica Magazine TV guide app, available in the iOS App Store and the Google Play store, provides tweets relating to specific programming directly in its guide. The Twitter section can be expanded to show current viewer reactions and trending topics, and the EPG also allows viewers to share their opinions with Google+, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Veronica Magazine TV guide app
Veronica Magazine TV guide app/Image: tabletguide.nl


Piksel, formerly known as KIT Digital, has designed a Social Program Guide for cable providers that equips a regular EPG with social media functionality. The guide lets viewers see which of their friends are watching certain programs, as well as chat with fellow audience members on Twitter and Facebook.

Global Lead Analyst Alan Wolk called it a “great retention device” and the “EPG of tomorrow” in an interview with SocialTimes.

Australia’s Foxtel Guide

The official app for Foxtel, an Australian pay-television business, offers Twitter feeds related to shows and also integrates with Twitter and Facebook so that programming can be shared with others. Available in the Google Play and iOS stores, it’s described as “the perfect response to today’s media smart and connected viewers who enrich their TV experience via multiple screens to chat, shop and discover content while enjoying great programming” by Foxtel Director of Product Michael Ivanchenko.

Australia’s Foxtel Guide
Australia's Foxtel Guide


Launched in 2010, yap.TV is a free iOS app that enhances television listings with various social features. Users can take polls and surveys, chat with others and participate in tweeting sessions.

Heralded as “the perfect TV-watching companion” by TechCrunch, the program was put together by former Apple employees and endorsed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

yap.tv/Image: techcrunch.com

TV SideView

In May, Sony announced a licensing alliance with community-driven wiki service Wikia, in which television content created and edited by fans is being combined with TV listings. The result is an app for Android and iOS devices that allows viewers to learn about show episodes and characters from the most devoted enthusiasts as Internet articles are updated live.

“The Wikia fan community is an extremely passionate and inspirational voice of the digital generation which will now be accessible through people’s everyday entertainment experiences,” said Owen Adams, Wikia VP Product in a press release.

Options to share what is being watched on Facebook and Twitter are also available.

TV Sideview
TV SideView/Image: wikia.com

Author: Brian Cameron

Image: Shutterstock


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