Social TV start-up Miso has launched a new product, Quips, that allows users to select a scene from a TV show, caption it with their thoughts and share their commentary on a Quips feed, or to Facebook and Twitter.
According to Miso, Quips combines social activity with beautiful images from TV shows. Prakash Venkataraman, head of business operations at Miso, says the images come from "proprietary technology that we are patenting, and due to patent pending, we cannot discuss further."
Quips includes more than 500 TV shows with over 150,000 hours of coverage of shows from the last 30 years.
Miso has 350,000 downloads and roughly 100,000 active users. Miso would not disclose the number of Quips downloads to date.
In addition to finding, captioning and sharing scenes via Quips, users can follow their friends and interact through Quips.
Last December, Miso launched SideShows, or interactive content experiences that play on iPhones while users watch TV. The content includes characters' back stories, as well as information on guest stars and fashion, history facts, trivia and quotes.
Miso started out with TV check-ins as a standalone offering in 2010. Check-ins were integrated into SideShows upon the latter product's launch, Venkataraman says.
"We still have our SideShows product, and have learned a great deal from SideShows in order to create Quips," Venkataraman says. "As we want to continue to grow and nurture Quips to provide the best experience for users, this is where our focus is."
Approximately 2,500 SideShows have been created to date.
"SideShows allowed anybody to create a narrative to express themselves around their favorite TV shows. Quips takes that same user-centric focus and delivers it in a lighter, faster and more mobile way," Venkataraman says. "With Quips, you can connect with your friends and other fans around your favorite shows, characters, moments and more no matter where, when or how you watch."
Miso calls Quips "the best way to talk about TV" because it connects people watching shows at different times and with different devices – whether that's TV, DVR, On Demand, Netflix, Hulu or mobile.
"Today, the only solutions that allow people to connect with each other require that they watch exclusively during a live broadcast. Additionally, some social TV services also face difficulties across time zones," Venkataraman says. "Our solution works in all cases and makes it available indefinitely. No matter when and where people watch their favorite TV shows, the conversation stays relevant and timeless."
It's perhaps worth noting that another social TV start-up, GetGlue, which has 3 million users, does not require its users to watch a live show to check in or comment. However, they can typically only earn stickers if they check in during a live broadcast, according to a rep.
As of today, Quips has 12 reviews on iTunes with an average rating of five stars. By comparison, all versions of the Miso app have a total of 1,250 reviews with an average of three stars.
"Really loving Miso's new app. Makes it really easy to make a comment on any scene of a TV, sharing the exact scene I was referencing. Perfect for any TV addict like myself," writes one iTunes reviewer.
Miso is backed by approximately $6 million to date. Backers include Google Ventures, Heart Interactive Media, Khosla Ventures and individuals associated with Square, YouTube, Epinions, AngelList, and Google.
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March 19, 2014