Feeds

BBC upgrades iPlayer to allow 'social propositions'

Now you can be distracted while watching TV alone

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The BBC has relaunched the website version of its popular iPlayer service in an effort to give the online telly catch-up service a Web2.0rhea sheen.

Auntie pushed out an iPlayer beta this morning and said it planned to release a full-fat version in July this year.

The Corporation said it had simplified its iPlayer by making TV and radio shows easier to search for via its website. The Beeb has also tweaked the interface to allow users to personalise their iPlayer “experience”, and dipped the whole thing in some social networking dye.

Viewers and listeners are now able to share and recommend programmes to friends on Facebook, Twitter and within the iPlayer itself.

Interestingly, the Beeb has not only allowed Facebook and Twitter to add plug-ins to the iPlayer, but it has also signed up Microsoft to offer its Windows Live Messenger users the opportunity to hook up to their messaging via the BBC service. The idea is that users can then invite other contacts to watch shows “together” online.

However, that feature won’t be coming until later in the summer when a beta will be released, said the BBC. If successful, the corporation will extend the service to other messaging services.

But the BBC’s decision to farm its iPlayer content out to tech outfits in deals that it described as “non-exclusive partnerships” might be met with criticism from some quarters of the licence-fee paying UK public.

"As we focus on what public service means in a digital age, we are working to set clear boundaries for BBC Online. We don't want to build a social network, microblogging or instant messaging service,” said BBC future media and technology chief Erik Huggers.

"But through a greater emphasis on strategic partnerships, we can harness the benefits of the web to enrich the audience's interaction with our content and support other content providers. The new BBC iPlayer reflects public service broadcasting in the digital era."

Huggers was reiterating what BBC director general Mark Thompson said in his strategic review of the corporation in March this year when he confirmed that the BBC wouldn’t provide its own email, webmail or instant messaging service. He also said the Beeb wouldn’t create its own social networking sites.

"Any social propositions on the BBC site [are] only there to aid engagement with BBC content. The BBC will also ensure that its social activity works with external social networks," said the review, which is currently being mulled by the broadcaster’s governing body. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.