On July 1, Hulu attempted to launch Facebook Connect and allow users to tie existing accounts to Facebook profiles as well as gain publishing rights to Facebook feeds. Due to a technical misstep, users who tried to use the Facebook Connect button were logged into accounts of other users. Hulu members posted on Twitter to complain to Hulu’s official account as well. Hulu took responsibility for the lapse in security, but claimed that no user data was leaked in an official blog post.
Earlier this week, Hulu relaunched connectivity with Facebook Connect correctly and is offering a free month of Hulu Plus ($7.99) for existing and new users of Hulu. If a user is already subscribed to Hulu Plus, the next billing date is pushed to the following month. When a user clicks the Facebook Connect button, the requirements to connect the accounts include accessing basic information for the Hulu profile, agreeing to receive email from Hulu, authorizing wall posts and providing data access to liked content such as TV shows, movies, music and books.
The default settings share everything a user watches on Hulu on the Facebook wall. It also shares all comments and other site interactions on the Facebook wall. In addition, the first click of the Facebook Connect button creates a post on the Facebook Wall about Hulu. Users can opt out of this level of sharing on the Hulu profile ‘Privacy & Settings’ page. Connecting an existing account to Facebook also links Facebook friends into the Hulu friends system automatically.
Hulu is hoping Facebook Connect integration will lead to a higher level of social interaction and traffic from the social media juggernaut. The site is also interested in converting more Hulu members into Hulu Plus subscribers with a free month of service. Hulu recently hit 875,000 paid subscribers at the end of the second quarter and is likely on track to reach one million by the end of the summer. At one million subscribers, Hulu Plus subscription revenue would total just under $100 million dollars a year.
To sign up for a free month of Hulu Plus, simply go to Hulu and click the Facebook Connect button.