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Beamly makes iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD more social with a Chrome extension

Beamly has launched a new Chrome extension that displays tweets about shows you’re watching on catch up. 

The free extension – called Beamly OnDemand – works with BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD displays other people’s Twitter chatter in a separate column. 

To avoid potential spoilers, the tweets pulled into the feed are ones made at the start of the programme, so you won’t have the climax of EastEnders, Coronation Street or Hollyoaks ruined for you. 

Spot the swear - Beamly will eventually let you filter naughty words in its Chrome extension
Spot the swear – Beamly will eventually let you filter naughty words in its Chrome extension

Beamly co-founder and cheif technology officer Anthony Rose told Recombu that in the future you’ll be able to pause the TV live stream and the Twitter noise simultaneously, but at present if you want to pause watching and stop the tweets streaming down in ‘real time’, you’ll need to have a quick trigger finger.

You’ll also eventually be able to filter out swearing – eagled eyed readers may spot that we’ve censored a certain four letter word above in the interests of keeping Recombu family friendly. 

Rose added that the extension was the realisation of a dream he’s had since his days of working for the BBC on the iPlayer. 

“We’re very happy with the Beamly experience as it is but we wanted to bring that experience to things like iPlayer. We wanted to bring the second screen to one screen,” Rose said. 

“When I worked on iPlayer social integration was one of the things we were looking at so I’ve always been a bit disappointed that it was never added by any of the broadcasters. So we did this hackathon to see how people could use our APIs and work on a technical solution to add Beamly’s social stream to services like iPlayer.”  

Developers Guy Nesher and Dan Wong worked with Beamly on the plug in, which also uses data provided by fellow London start-up TankTop TV. 

TankTop TV’s metadata matching services married with Beamly’s social TV platform allows the extension to pull in tweets and assign them to the correct programmes at the right times. 

Beamly OnDemand will eventually include support for other broadcasters and services based outside of the UK. Rose said that Beamly would also consider making a Firefox extension and plug-ins for other browsers, if the demand was high enough.

“We’re also making all of the code freely available on Github,” Rose added, “so if you want to make your own extension you’re more than welcome.” Anyone desperate for a Firefox add-on can get cracking

Those without the technical skills or inclination to make such a thing happen in the meantime can vote with their feet and download the Chrome extenstion here

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