A new feature on Twitter which will allow Comcast subscribers to tune to or record select television programs by clicking on tweets is now going live. Last month, Twitter and Comcast announced a strategic partnership to introduce “See It” button in tweets, which Twitter users would tap on to immediately watch a live show or set their DVR to record it for the future. Today, Twitter is announcing the “See It” (or SEEiT, as it’s hilariously being spelled) buttons will roll out this week with two NBC Universal programs, a drama called “Haven” and the reality program “Naked Vegas,” as the first shows supported.
These are odd choices for the SEEiT launch, as the shows aren’t exactly the most high-profile TV programs from the forthcoming lineup. However, Twitter refers to the rollout as a “preview,” indicating perhaps they want to test with less well-known shows while working out the kinks.
On Comcast’s new SEEiT website, NBC’s “The Voice” is at the top of the page, and in several screenshots. Many expected it would also be among the first to receive the new functionality on Twitter, as it was the only program from the Comcast lineup which appeared on Nielsen’s study of the most tweeted about shows.
Comcast has a number of other more interesting programming options it could have chosen from for the SEEiT preview, including The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, The Michael J. Fox Show, Sunday Night Football, Access Hollywood, NHL, Premier League Soccer, Sochi Olympics, Today Show, Psych, and Suits.
— SEEiT (@seeit) November 22, 2013
— Jana Messerschmidt (@janamal) November 22, 2013
— Twitter TV (@twittertv) November 22, 2013
Comcast previously said that the programming which will become SEEiT-enabled includes shows from NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire Network, and The Golf Channel. But it sounds like lineup will be expanding in the future. Comcast says on the SEEiT website that it’s working with other programmers and channels beyond NBCUniversal, and hopes to have announcements related to an expanded lineup of supported shows “soon.”
The SEEiT website FAQ also adds that the feature may work in the future with programmer’s apps, too. That would allow even those not currently subscribed to the Comcast Xfinity TV service to take advantage of the SEEiT functionality. Though they couldn’t record the program on their DVR, they could just start watching, if the show was live.
In addition, while SEEiT today is limited to Twitter, Comcast intends to introduce the feature further across the web, it seems. “We are talking to other social networking websites, services and apps so you will be able to use SEEiT in other places soon,” reads the explanation on the SEEiT site.
Twitter this week also updated its mobile app to call out TV shows currently being tweeted about on its network in the Discover/Trending section. Though Comcast’s is interested in trying to drive TV ratings via Twitter, for the social network, it needs to be able to prove to networks and advertisers that it can do more than provide a place for users to chat about things like TV and movies, but they will actually respond to a call-to-action, too.
Comcast’s SEEiT is only one of the efforts on that front. Twitter’s in-stream video ad program Amplify, has been growing as well, most recently by adding BBC Global News which joins BBC America, CBS, FOX, Fuse and The Weather Channel on the Amplify platform.