"It's like Shazaam for television."
That's the one-liner some are using to describe the buzzy new social networking app IntoNow for iOS. But the simple comparison doesn't do it justice. Whereas Shazaam has drawn strength mainly from millions of users' aching desire to know what that great song is playing right now, IntoNow, released today, has to go further.
When it comes to television, people usually have no problem recognizing what's on. And if they can't figure it out at first glance, copious amounts of program data can be readily accessed via a cable provider's "Info" feature, or services like TV Guide. So while IntoNow's ability to recognize and display info for over 2.6 million broadcasts dating back the past 5 years (it can even tell when it's listening to a commercial) is certainly impressive, it's only the beginning.
Like so many new apps being developed and flooding mobile devices these days, IntoNow's future rests on getting you to talk about what you're seeing. Having the app listen to a TV show constitutes "checking in" to a program, a development that can be broadcasted to your friends on Twitter and Facebook and to others who have IntoNow. The app will send you notifications when friends of yours are watching the same thing, and you can comment on each others' viewing activity in a news feed-like stream.
IntoNow also lets users add programs to their Netflix queue, and you can create and navigate potentially fun and useflul lists like "Best Comedies of the 2000s" and "Programs featuring Tiffany Amber Thiessen."
Founder and CEO Adam Cahan is a former Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at MTV Networks, and with this new venture he's hoping to make couch potatoes social again. But with lifecasting titans like Twitter and Facebook, and similar upstarts like GetGlue, Philo and Miso already occupying precious iPhone folders, the big question is whether boob tube obsessives will even need him.
We're excited to start playing with some of IntoNow's cool new features and see if they live up to the hype. If you have an iOS device, you can get it now for free. Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.