BBC Trialling Twitter-Based TV Show Information Service

Mike Wheatley

Ever watched something on TV and wanted to know what programme you were watching right at that very minute? Perhaps you’ve listened to the radio, wondering what the name of that song is. A new service being trialed by the BBC – dubbed “Radiotagbot” – is helping thousands of people in this similar plight, by providing identification and bookmarking services through the popular social media tool Twitter.

BBC iPlayer
BBC trialling Twitter-based TV show information service

Using Twitter, anyone can simply send a tweet to @Radiotagbot with the name of the television or radio channel, and receive an automated reply tweet with the requested information. The potential applications of this technology are great, as this can be used to significantly improve user experience with many different kinds of media.

Limitations exist at this moment, as Radiotagbot can only be used with certain radio stations and TV channels connected directly to the internet (for example those available on BBC iPlayer). This won’t help users listening to radio in their cars, or watching shows on their HDTVs from the comfort of their homes.

At this moment, Radiotagbot and its technology is still in development. The Beeb is currently using Twitter as a temporary vehicle to test user experience and collect feedback to improve the service. While questions remain as to whether or not this type of service could potentially become popular, hopefully many other aspects of this technology will be addressed in the near future.

Potential adopters will wonder how this service can be integrated with home TV watching and non-internet radio listening. However, this is a promising start for a great idea that has the potential to go viral in every sense of the word.

Source: BBC R&D blog