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Yahoo Acquires IntoNow With Eye to Socializing TV

  |  April 25, 2011   |  Comments

Shazam-like app IntoNow also enables TV advertising check-ins.

Yahoo has acquired TV check-in app IntoNow just four months after the company's launch. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though reports place the cost at about $20 million.  

IntoNow is a Shazam-like app that uses a four to 12 second audio sample to identify what TV show a user is watching. The user can then share that information with others on IntoNow or on his Faceboook or Twitter feed. The idea is to allow users to exchange comments with others as they watch TV, while a "live now" button uses the iPhone's GPS feature to alert users to what is most popular among people in their region at any time.

Last week, IntoNow debuted its first TV ad check-in partnership. Users who tag a new baseball-themed Pepsi Max commercial will receive a coupon for the soda, redeemable at Target.  

Adam Cahan, CEO of Palo Alto-based IntoNow, said last week that his company was talking to several other advertisers about check-in possibilities, particularly movie studios (users could receive tickets for tagging trailers) and automakers (dealers could send users information about models featured in ads they tagged).  

"The IntoNow application the team has built clearly demonstrates the opportunities the technology presents across Yahoo!'s network, especially in regards to our video content, search, mobile and Connected TV experiences," said Bill Shaughnessy, SVP of global product management at Yahoo, in a written statement.  

It's unclear precisely how IntoNow will be incorporated into Yahoo's current offerings - a spokeswoman declined to provide details beyond the press release - but Yahoo has already made a play for an interactive TV experience with its Connected TV product. Connected TV enables widgets at the bottom of TV screens that can be accessed during programs with a remote control to view products or content.

"Relying on social channels as a means for discovering content – whether it's on a PC, mobile device, or TV - is rapidly on the rise," said Shaughnessy in a press release about the acquisition.  

As of now, IntoNow apps only work with Apple devices, though an Android version is in the works, said Cahan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.

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