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Tell your Facebook friends about severe weather with The Weather Channel's new app

The Weather Channel is at it again taking social to new heights to deliver weather info. A year ago, the TV network made headlines with their first-of-a-kind Twitter partnership. More recently, they’ve relaunched their website with more social features, updated their iPhone app with photo sharing and became one of Foursquare’s first Connected Apps partners. Now the network is using Facebook’s Open Graph to encourage friends to warn other friends about bad weather.

My Friends’ Weather,” according to The Weather Channel, “is perhaps the first truly helpful integration of Open Graph around and goes beyond displaying what article your friend is reading or what song they’re listening to on Spotify.” Within Weather.com a “See Friends At Risk Button” will appear on the right helping you uncover any Facebook friends — using their profile location — that might be affected by the weather that you’re currently uncovering on their site.

Remember growing up, waking up for school and having your parents inform you immediately of the day’s weather so you knew instantly what to pick out from the closet? Mom and Dad (as long as your Facebook friends with them) can continue to do this. “Future phases of ‘My Friends’ Weather’ will expand this functionality to local weather pages, where users will be able to see friends who live in an area and share the day’s weather or local weather alerts to them.” Also down the road, “users will also be able to follow weather for their friends in any city and initiate conversations around the weather, making the weather more personal.” Here’s a video demo:

The American Red Cross will be incorporated through out the app to provide information when needed. It also looks like Travelers has already launched as a brand partner for the app. We talked to Cameron Clayton, EVP of digital products at The Weather Channel Companies, to learn more about the Facebook integration:

Lost Remote: Why did TWC decide to launch social weather alerts?

Clayton: We know that weather, at its core, is social and has always been a way to connect with each other. And we have always worked toward making finding weather information easier for users. When we launched a product with Twitter last summer, we saw during Hurricane Irene just how powerful social was in getting the word out about weather and how it affects us and our communities. We want to know how severe weather will affect our plans, our ride home, our vacation. And even more important, we want to know that our family and friends are safe if severe weather impacts their area. My Friends’ Weather allows us to connect directly with our friends when weather matters, making it easier to find out the information we need most.

LR: How does it work? What social platforms does it work with?

Clayton: My Friends’ Weather uses Open Graph from Facebook to connect with your family and close friends. When breaking weather news affects your friends, based on their home city in Facebook, they show up in your feed and you can send them the alert and comment directly to their Timeline. Your friend can then click straight to weather.com to get details, and even prepare with content from Travelers, our launch partner.

LR: Anything else?

Clayton: The Weather Channel has a goal to make weather more local, social, mobile and relevant. We believe My Friends’ Weather does just that, and we’re not stopping with this first phase. Future plans will allow users to see all of their friends’ weather, no matter the conditions. It will allow you to see and send to friends any severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service. It will also be integrated into our mobile properties.

In addition to The Weather Channel’s expansion on social, the network is also expanding their originals. Last week they announced Hawaii Air Rescue (a working title) to accompany Iron Men (airing on Tuesdays, this season covering the rebuilding of Ground Zero), Coast Guard Alaska and more.

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