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Anthony Rose: people have ‘zero interest’ in Tweets on TV

Zeebox LaunchFormer iPlayer boss and founder of social TV service Beamly, Anthony Rose, has said that there is “zero appetite” for Tweets on the main screen in the home.

Taking to Twitter a day after the micro-blogging network announced the launch of a new Twitter app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One, Rose raised serious doubts about the viability of the service.

“Five years of social TV startups, including my own, proved conclusively there is zero appetite for tweets on your TV. Twitter hasn’t learned that,” said Rose.

“Twitter’s Apple TV app is going to get as much use as all the other TV apps other than Netflix. i.e. after the day 1 huha, diddly squat.”

The new Twitter app is designed to feature all live streaming video available on Twitter, alongside other Twitter content such as ‘top Tweets’.

Rose is well versed in the social TV space, having launched the Zeebox app back in 2011. The service was designed to offer an ‘augmented TV’ experience that surfaced Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and other social media services and programme information on smartphones and tablets.

In 2014 Zeebox rebranded to Beamly as part of a strategy shift designed to “capture the zeitgeist” of the app’s core target audience of 16 to 24 year-old millennials and focus more on programming and less on the experience of watching TV.

Commenting at the time, Rose admitted that Zeebox’s TV guide had been “embraced by a geeky male audience” and that its perception had been that of a “new-fangled social TV guide rather than the social network and TV participation experience that was our vision.”

The service was eventually sold off to beauty firm Coty in 2015, which said it planned to use it as a marketing platform to help increase engagement with its digital campaigns.

Rose is now CEO of UTD, another tech startup that he founded in 2014 and is designed to “remove the friction in the way that people connect”, uniting people together based on shared interests.