Broadcast automation software developer VDS has announced the release of Watercooler. It is being called the first rules-based, automated social media tool for television.
Based on the knowledge that real-time conversations via social media engage viewers and increase ratings, Watercooler can synchronize television content playback with tweets or Facebook posts. The system achieves this by utilizing segment durations, time code markers and other types of metadata, reported to create new revenue opportunities.
Users can compose a tweet or Facebook post to appear in advance of or at a precise point during a broadcast, or during a specific commercial. Viewers with noted interests would be able to opt in for reminders of events during episodes, such as a certain recipe given during a cooking show. Reminders can also give the time and channel for a favorite show, highlight a season premiere or finale and give teaser information prior to its airing.
Watercooler is housed in a single server and noted as a complete turnkey system, requiring little engineer or technical support after installation. Its interface is available to anyone in the facility with user authority and promotional events can be created without the need of technical assistance.
VDS sees huge potential among Facebook’s 500 million users and Twitter’s 175 million users. According to VDS President Larry Mincer, “Watercooler is a game changing tool for today's media companies; it empowers them to do more by leveraging their existing infrastructure and operations."
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