Facebook is making it easier to interact with live TV shows

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Facebook is trying to steal some of Twitter’s TV thunder. The social giant today announced that it is developing a whole host of new tools that will allow broadcasters and TV shows to better engages with their audience and vice versa.

Much like Twitter’s own toolset, Facebook’s new set of APIs and resources are geared toward tracking and encouraging engagement during live events. For instance, the company has developed app voting and polling tools for broadcasters that can be embedded into posts or comments, allowing users to sound off on what they like or think about sporting events, award shows, or prime-time TV. Another tool allows networks to aggregate viewer submissions like photos and videos, enabling them to show off the best content from fans and commenters. Yet another is a set of custom icons that call attention to related content about big-deal programming.

Chasing Twitter makes sense here

Much of what Facebook is trying to accomplish is already being attempted by Twitter, however. The site is already trying polling, and rolled out custom emojis for pop-cultural touchstones like Star Wars. Still, it makes sense that Facebook would chase this kind of engagement, especially at a time when Twitter is finally making good on its promise to improve its utility for new users via the newly released Moments. Coupled with it’s journalist- and celebrity-focused Live for Mentions app, Facebook is already well-positioned to build on audience engagement going forward. And as Facebook partner engineering director Bob Morgan wrote in the announcement, “Our own researchers discovered that Facebook usage peaks in prime time, in every country, and that the maximum daily Facebook audience occurs during maximum TV viewing.”

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