Coming soon: A Twitter feature that gets you watching TV – not tweeting about it

There are a lot of changes hitting Twitter: The company is thick in the IPO process and making deals with TV networks left and right. Now you can add another partnership to the mix, this time with Comcast.

But this isn’t just another deal that means more embedded clips (with ads, of course) of exclusive content or playbacks from networks. As AllThingsD explains it, you’ll be able to have some control of what you’re actually watching through Twitter. Soon, you’ll start seeing a “See It” button on some tweets from NBC (which is owned by Comcast) shows. After selecting “See It,” a Twitter Card will unfold that has yet more options for you (provided you’re a Comcast customer): You can watch the show live from your respective device, set a DVR reminder, start recording, or open it via the Xfinity app.

Part of the reason Nielsen’s first Twitter-based TV ratings report was such a big deal is that it affects live television. Cord cutters are the bane of live programming because it means their ads are going unwatched; bringing value to real time conversations means that perhaps more users will be swayed into joining these interactions and watching these shows live to be a part of it. But that’s just alluding that Twitter can make people want to watch live TV – the Comcast partnership and the features it delivers means that when they hit the right button, they actually will watch live TV.

Of course the scope of the partnership is limited at the moment to these NBC shows:

  • The Voice
  • The Blacklist
  • Chicago Fire
  • The Michael J. Fox show
  • Sunday Night Football 
  • Premier League Soccer
  • Sochi Olympics
  • Today Show
  • Psych
  • Suits

Twitter wants to turn the conversations it’s hosting about TV into revenue – badly. It’s a huge part of its revenue plan, and there’s still a lot of skepticism from the industry that there will be a significant payoff. But this is a huge step in monetizing our TV-related data, and if it works, we could see more cable providers and networks jumping on board, and giving users the ability to control TV programming via Twitter.

Should streaming services like Netflix and Hulu be scared? Not yet. There’s still a lot of momentum behind cord cutting and a la carte television consumption, and this year’s Emmys proved that the landscape is changed. One thing is certain: The competition over our eyeballs is heating up.

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