Microsoft boosts social on Xbox with 45 new apps, including Twitter for TV

5 Jun 2014

Microsoft has revealed that more than 45 new social and entertainment apps optimised for TV will be coming to the Xbox One and Xbox 360, including Twitter, Vine, HBO GO and Comedy Central optimised for the large screen TV.

The move, just ahead of Microsoft’s next set of reveals at E3 next week, will increase the number of apps currently in the Xbox catalogue by 25pc to 225 apps.

Microsoft says that social and entertainment usage on the Xbox Live platform has skyrocketed.

“Xbox fans are spending more time than ever on the console, spending more than five hours a day on Xbox One,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Devices and Studios at Microsoft.

“Today as we announce new commitments from dozens of our partners, including deep integration with experiences like Twitter and Vine, we hit an important milestone in our journey to deliver unique experiences on Xbox. We’re thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences like we’re doing with Twitter on Xbox One.”

A tweet for sore eyes

Coming to the US first, Twitter will be designed to give Xbox users the ability to read tweets on their TV alongside the cable or satellite programme they are watching.

Twitter will be integrated into the TV listings section of OneGuide where you will be able to see the shows that people are tweeting about in real-time.

These shows will also be highlighted in a new “trending” section within OneGuide so you know what’s popular right then and there.

In a very clever way Twitter may have just found the opportunity to compete directly with TV advertising. A commercial break could turn into a quick and easy opportunity to see what other viewers are tweeting about without pulling out your phone, swiping at a tablet, or taking your attention away from your TV.

“People turn to Twitter every day to enjoy and engage in the real-time conversations about their favorite TV shows,” says Jana Messerschmidt, VP Business Development and Platform at Twitter.

“We’re enhancing that experience on the Xbox One with a unique Watch with Twitter integration. It will now be easier to discover what shows are trending in real-time on Twitter, tune-in and follow the conversation right from within the Xbox One interface. We are excited to work with the Xbox One team and continue to deliver unique entertainment experiences.”

New app experiences coming to users in Ireland include Crunchyroll and NBA on Xbox One, Filmbox Live on Xbox 360, and KDrama and Sky News on both consoles.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years