Television is transforming from an idiot box into a two-way communication medium, all thanks to the new bunch of startups that are creating avenues for user interaction during a live TV show. The latest startup to make TV a bit more social is Apptarix. The Bangalore based startup has recently launched TeleTango, an exciting mobile social TV network for Indian television.
The story initially reported by YourStory, highlighted that while a show is running, users via the mobile app can check what their Facebook friends are watching, join friends in a show for a group chat, post opinion or check the chatter on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, etc.
TeleTango mobile app features
I was tempted to give the TV social network a try on my Android device. The mobile app is now only accepting Facebook login. After the authentication process the app provides a quick walkthrough about the app and its useful features. A much required feature that most apps miss out on and the walkthrough was really smart. Definitely the app developers have kept the layman in mind.
After the authentication is done, the app pulls out your Facebook friends list. You can invite your friends to the app or find out who is already there in the app. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the Founder of iCouch, Rabbi Gupta was the only person from my Facebook who was using the app.
The screen grab at your right – Lounge or the home is the screen pulled at the start. Lounge is a quick snapshot of television programs that are running at present and also the ones that are planned to come later on too. Apart from the list of shows Lounge or the home screen also has a running feed. As a user you can read the feed about upcoming shows and get informed, nothing much can be done yet. It is as good as a list of program notifications.
Click on the show that you would like to watch on TV. Just like I did by clicking the live telecast of the Indian Badminton League tournament 2013. On click of the program I was provided a complete dedicated page for the program with lots of interactive options. Apart from sharing the program on Facebook, setting a reminder for the program, the app provides features like Friend Chat, Public Chat, Facebook and Twitter chatter and Tango Feeds.
Friend Chat is basically to chat with your Facebook friends about the program if they are also watching the show at the same time. Public Chat is another option to interact with others who are not your friends, more like an open discussion forum (Reminds me of Yahoo Chat forums).
The app also pulls discussions and content related to the show from social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook discussions could be pulled only if the program has a relevant page so that you can interact and similarly you can also tweet about a program based on a certain hashtag. The screen grab at your right shows you the discussions happening on the Facebook page of Indian Badminton League.
The screen has two more features at the top extreme end of the app. To the extreme right of the screen, on click on the icon you get to know friends who are logged in the app. You can also invite more friends and more good you do for the app you earn points. The startup has gamification in place to lure users to spend more time on the app.
At the extreme left of the screen, on click on the icon you get a search feature along with a list of programs that would be shown today arranged under categories. One can also find a list of programs of yesterday and tomorrow too. On click of the programs you are taken to individual pages to engage in activities.
How good is TeleTango mobile app?
The app does its job without any glitches right now. The experience has been quite satisfying and the intelligent help provided makes life easy since the app has quite a bit of features. Design wise the app is smart but some might find it little cluttered due to massive information, and the startup really can’t help that. However, the feed on the Lounge screen could be made much more interesting.
Overall the app is comprehensive with the required features but the only challenge would be the user adoption and motivating them to come and interact during live shows. I am sure the brains behind the startup would have initiated the process of forming partnerships with television programs. In fact the same is being done by iCouch, a similar app in the same space that has been growing by collaborating with television programs. A thought that was shared by Rabbi while talking about iCouch in an interview.
Globally, Twitter has been pushing hard for forming a strong bonding with television. In India it is pushing hard to become the second screen but the challenge with Twitter is that despite being the best communication network, the conversations can’t be controlled. Recently Himmat Butalia, Marketing Head at Sony PIX, an Indian movie and sports channel, had shared that the insane trending by brands is also killing the medium.
I think apps like TeleTango can make a big difference and who knows in the near future SMS or lucky callers would be replaced by social apps like TeleTango who would provide a mechanism to engage with their favourite celebrities. I see this happening very soon.
Till then you can always give a try to your TV social network – TeleTango.