Channel 4 links up with Facebook

17 July 2009

LONDON: Channel 4, the UK broadcaster, is developing a new video-on-demand platform enabling consumers in the country to watch and discuss its own content and material from YouTube using their Facebook profiles.

Facebook Connect allows members of the popular portal to log in to other web properties using their username and password from the social network, and has previously been described as an innovation that could change the face of the web.

Channel 4's new system, called Test Tube Telly, will link 4oD, its current video-on-demand service, to Facebook using this tool.

According to its website, this "experimental prototype" is intended to let "Facebook friends watch, talk about, rate and recommend their favourite TV from 4oD and YouTube."

Furthermore, Channel 4 says another objective of the scheme is to help people discover a wide array of archive material that it has recently made available to view online for the first time.

Andy Pipes, the broadcaster's product development manager, argued that "on linear TV, people often hear about new programmes from friends or colleagues. If a friend recommends a show, we're often motivated to check it out the next time it's on."

"So we thought we'd see if we could use the same 'friend recommendation' thinking to help people find and watch otherwise hidden gems within 4oD."

If successful, Channel 4 plans to roll out the initiative to cover other social networks including Twitter, and could ultimately make it a feature of its own website.

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff