TVcheck : TV-watching gets gamified and goes social again!


The new iPhone application TVcheck allows you to share what you are watching on TV. Obviously inspired by GetGlue and Miso, it actually goes beyond, by mixing Shazam-like features, adapted to visual recognition. The app, developed by a spin-off company of the French communication major Orange, is available for French TV only. 

Visual recognition

I think this is the real innovative part of the app and what makes it stand out from similar products. To share the show you are watching, all you have to do is to put your iPhone in front of your TV screen. After a few seconds, a blue frame appears and the app recognizes the program (see the screenshot above). It fails sometimes to identify the actual name of the program at the first sight, but it usually succeeds after a new try.

With Shazam and IntoNow, we are aware of audio recognition, but the first time you do this with TVcheck it is quite impressive! 

TV-watching gamified

TVcheck allows you to become the « Master » of a show or a channel. Just as on Foursquare when you become a place’s mayor, you have to check the program several times to gain points and then be honored as the Master. Other new features – that let you get more points – are the « Pre-check » option and the Quiz section offered on specific programs. Very few shows offer a quiz till now, but I guess it could depend on future partnerships with channels.

Sharing with friends

To use the social part of the app, you have to be logged in to Facebook. Every check-in leads to a post in your newsfeed. Also, the app’s user can see who did check-in on the same program, ask them to be their friend and interact with them within the app. I think there is a lack of privacy settings here, as every user can access to full name, picture and activity of over checkers, even if they are not their Facebook friends. Some options would be appreciated.

With more and more fragmented audiences, TV is maybe less of a huge « social link » than it used to be. However, TV watching can be still a social activity, as people like to discuss about their favorites programs. With tools like Twitter and Facebook, TV-related conversations happen now online and real-time. TVcheck and other similar apps could be useful to build communities around TV shows, and I guess targeted advertising is not far…

What do you think of this kind of app ? Can TV-sharing be useful for media and brands marketers ?