TV Guide to Use Facebook API for TV Show Check-In

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Taking their Social TV strategy one step further (we recently wrote about TV Guide Out on iPad in Two Screen Social TV Move), America's TV Guide brand will allow viewers to check in to TV-shows starting in October, when the company launched a feature using Facebook technology which will let users simply click a button and post what shows they’re watching or plan to watch on social networks, reports.

In October, will launch a check-in feature that uses basic Facebook technology to let visitors to the site click a button to broadcast on social networks what they're watching, or plan to watch, on TV. So far, networks and movie studios have partnered with apps from social TV startups such as GetGlue, Miso and Philo, and Comcast's project Tunerfish, to reward viewers for posting about their content when they're using their phones or the internet while watching. But thanks to Facebook tools, TVGuide was able to build check-ins on its own, without a partner.

The national TV Guide was first published on April 3, 1953 and in its premiere issue cover featured a photograph of Lucille Ball's and Desi Arnaz's newborn son, Desi Arnaz, Jr. TV Guide’s weekly circulation has reached more than 17 million in print but now hovers around 3.2 million. Online, get approximately 6 million unique visitors a day according to Compete. More from

Facebook is meeting with networks to talk about social-TV check-ins and gauge interest for check-ins into media, according to one network executive, meaning the social network is at least in research mode for social TV. Facebook declined to comment on the matter. As with Places, Facebook has the potential to turn on the functionality for 500 million users, while the social-TV startups scrape together audiences through cross-promotion with big media companies, press outreach and pass-along recommendations.

...Facebook technology is a big part of TVGuide's check-in largely because each check-in can also be a status update, but also because that's where a lot of entertainment data already lives. "The recent like button implementation has also made it vastly easier for us to synch users' favorites and for users to designate new favorites," said Christy Tanner, senior VP-general manager, TVGuide Digital, a family of websites and mobile apps that includes "We want to let people check-in where they want to; we don't need to retain the check-in.... We want the opportunity for our audience to update Facebook and Twitter, which are the two key social networks in the entertainment space right now."

"Check-in is a really key function but lets not forget what this is really about, which is individual users' set of favorite shows," she added. already uses Facebook preferences to auto-populate visitors online DVRs with shows they've liked on Facebook and also displays friends' favorites. The end game is a smart platform that can predict what viewers will like. The online video site Clicker is also trying to build a recommendation engine based on preferences and viewing habits captured on its own site.

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