With more and more television viewers turning to sites like Twitter to weigh in on what they're watching at any given moment, it's no surprise that social media is attracting the focus of content creators and television networks.
But it's also attracting the attention of startups looking to capitalize on the opportunities created by a world in which the consumption of television content increasingly involves two screens.
One startup trying to find a place in the space is tweetTV, which just raised $750,000. Describing itself as a "real-time Social TV guide," tweetTV wants to help individuals discover programming and engage in "tweet-based social conversations about live TV programs."
Founded by Bradley Markham, an early Google employee who, according to TheNextWeb was "one of the first account optimization specialists in the Adwords department," tweetTV allows users to select their television provider and then aligns that with what's buzzing on Twitter. Users who decide to turn into a particular show can then interact with others who are watching it by joining a "tweet room" containing curated tweets about that show as they stream in on Twitter.
According to Markham, "Other social tv startups want to build a better mousetrap, but at tweetTV, we want to create a smarter mouse. We want to help you find what's worth watching on TV and empower you to make your previously passive TV experience more engaging and interesting."
tweetTV enters an increasingly crowded space. Other companies trying to establish themselves as a 'social TV guide' include SocialGuide.com and Tweek.tv. And there's GetGlue, which brings the concept of the "check-in" to television viewing.
The keys to success in this market? There appears to be a need for curation around television buzz, but at this point, the water coolers -- Twitter and Facebook -- are the biggest winners and it's unclear how much real opportunity exists outside of them. One thing is certain, however: as the second screen phenomenon becomes more and more apparent, you can expect to see a growing number of startups try to figure out new angles to serve television lovers online.