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Because not everyone watches live, Tomorrowish is 'first social media DVR'

Over a year ago we wrote about Tweeplayer, then in beta, a technology that lets you play back tweets in sync with a TV show. The company, which changed its name to Tomorrowish, has become an important social TV tool for a social web that can spoil content for you in a second. After all, time-shifted playback is one of the biggest challenges facing social viewing today.

Tomorrowish now works with Hulu, truTV and is in talks with more networks. They now tap into not just Twitter, but Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo’s APIs. Also, they’re “profitable,” according to founder and CEO Mick Darling, who talked with us about the company.

Lost Remote: How did you start the company? What are the goals?

Mick Darling: Tomorrowish was started to solve a frustrating issue that it was impossible to take part in the social media conversation while watching time-shifted TV. We first thought of it as a consumer focused app, but then changed focus to building the infrastructure to time-shift social media conversations and provide many ways for content producers and distributors to integrate that conversation for their viewers in multiple tools to drive engagement with the audience.

We want to make it effortless for viewers to be engaged in the social conversation about TV shows whenever they watch them, and we are also focused on improving our content filtering tools to find the best parts of any conversation as it grows and evolves over time.

LR: How does the technology work?

Darling: Tomorrowish helps our clients realize the benefits of integrating social media conversations about their content. We do that for both live and on-demand or time-shifted content consumption. Live streams are captured and can be filtered (or not) with both manual controls as well as by our unique automated curation tool that helps us deliver the best, most interesting comments displayed in a smooth, easy to read stream. We sync the conversation in time with the content, so subsequent viewers can enjoy both the content and the social conversation with no spoilers and they can continue to add to that conversation, with their new posts also synced in time with the content. Content providers can also engage with that stream at any time to ramp up the personal or whole audience engagement levels of some of their biggest fans.

On the tech side, a javascript widget uses our API to access the social data for browser based viewing, and other tools can use the same API for device based viewing, such as native iOS and Android apps.

LR: Do you work with TV companies?

Darling: Yes, lots of types of TV companies. We work with original digital content providers, their delivery partners, and social app providers. For example, right now, we’ve gathered and synced content for an international cable and broadcast news agency, some major cable and ‘traditional’ networks, a number of conference organizers, and some interactive TV apps. We can integrate at a number of levels, from providing the whole tool for every show on a network and archived for life to just providing access to our API for only one live stream.

LR: What social TV problems does Tomorrowish help solve?

Darling: Think about the whole premise of Social TV. People have more options than ever for what, how, and most importantly, when to view the content they love. Until Tomorrowish, if you missed the ‘appointment’ that someone else set for a live event- or just lived somewhere west of the Eastern time zone broadcast, social TV was not a participatory event – you couldn’t participate without seeing spoilers and other social content irrelevant to the moment you were attaching. The social content you could see was all about ‘right now’ for the person posting, not about what you were watching. We help both viewers and content providers truly engage, to enjoy a true social TV experience in the time and place best for both of them, and without either of them losing any of the benefits that a live ‘appointment’ would deliver. Other than a couch party at your house, how much more social can you get?

We also help content providers extend the life of their content by leveraging the social networks of their biggest fans, to link one piece of content to another via the social stream, and keep drawing new consumers of all that content over time.

LR: Anything else?

Darling: We’re a young and nimble company that is profitable and growing. Tomorrowish isn’t just a great tool or a forward thinking service, or a new technology, though. All those things are part of it, but our core is that we’re a really great team with a really cool product that is constantly advancing, adding benefits to users and clients, and changing the way people can, and will, communicate about whatever they’re passionate about. Right now, we’re really passionate about what we have to offer the Social TV ecosystem, and we’re even more passionate about v2.0 coming this fall, but that’s another interview for Tomorrowish!

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