Zeebox Social TV App Relaunches as Beamly

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The UK based Social TV App, Zeebox, has recently rebranded and relaunched their website, and iOS and Android apps under the new name of Beamly. Originally launched in 2011, Beamly wanted to change from being seen as a geeky TV guide app to a co-viewing experience that would allow users to follow and discuss their favorite TV shows and celebrities all day long.

Currently with 2 million active users, Zeebox’s original features, such as the live chat and screen sync functions, will remain. The additional new features allow for many more interactions, making Beamly more of a social network based around television interests. Users will now have access to news feeds and social media topics about their favorite TV shows, and they will be able to follow their favorite TV shows and celebrities at any time.  Co-founder and CFO Anthony Rose explained, “We had a dream which was to create participation TV… One day we realized that people perceived Zeebox as a new type of TV guide rather than a co-viewing experience. So in the last six months we’ve set about transitioning from model one, which was essentially that synchronized Twitter playalong experience, to a fully fledged social network for television.”

With the relaunch, Beamly is able to adapt to the vast changes that are occurring in TV viewing. Along with the changing trends of TV viewer habits, there is also the change in audience that Beamly has seen with their users. According to Rose, once users were allowed to follow shows, they were using the app twice as often, and once shows were allowed to follow them back, users were returning ten times as often. This feeling of a community attracted a lot of females and transformed Beamly’s users from a group of geeky men to a diverse audience, that is now mostly 16-24 year old females in the US.

By being able to adapt so well to the constantly changing TV viewing habits, Beamly will be sure to increase their user base and shake that geeky image that they previously had.

Could Instagram Surpassing Twitter for Mobile Users Increase Social TV Competition?

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This past week Instagram surpassed Twitter for having the most mobile users according to data from eMarketer. This news is extremely important for social TV as Twitter continues to be the number one social platform for TV viewers. Twitter has about 30.8 million users while Instagram now has 35 million and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

According to a study done by the Council for Research Excellence, 1 out of 6 primetime TV viewers are using social media and about one half of their social media activity is related to programming they are watching. Additionally, social media was more than twice as effective at driving viewers to new shows than returning shows. This data along with Instagram overtaking Twitter in mobile users is incredibly important for TV executives to think about. Twitter continues to be the leading social media site that TV shows use, both in and out of season, to communicate with their fans. As consumers become more mobile-minded, social strategies will need to change to keep up with shifting platform usage.