Introducing Twitter TV, Courtesy of Google TV

Today, Google fully unveiled the features of its much buzzed-about Google TV. By far one of its coolest apps is Twitter, which will help seamlessly infuse television with the Web.


Today, Google fully unveiled the features of its much buzzed-about Google TV, and by far one of its coolest aspects is apps. Now, a television will essentially act as a giant iPad, with access to Amazon, Netflix, or Pandora. One app in particular, which will come preinstalled on Google TV, will help infuse television in the Web: Twitter.

Twitter and TV are now heavily connected, but they’ve never been seamlessly integrated. Jimmy Fallon never does a show without his laptop nearby logged in to Twitter. Awards shows and reality programming often feature tweets during live broadcasts. And even when not officially endorsed, you can bet the Twitter-sphere is flying with tweets about whatever twist or shocking moment occurs during the Jersey Shore.

With Google TV, one will no longer need a separate device to use Twitter in any capacity. From the comfort of your couch–without having to run during a commercial break to your laptop or take your eyes away to your cellphone–users can now access the full Twitter experience on TV, in picture-in-picture mode. As Twitter boasts:

The application has most of the features and functionality that you’d expect from Twitter. It makes it easy to look through Tweets, @mentions, and favorites. When you click on a Tweet, you can reply, retweet, favorite, or share it. You will also see additional options depending on the content of the Tweet. For example, you can visit a URL or click a hashtag to search for it on Twitter. If a user is mentioned, you can visit that user’s profile to see their Tweets or follow them. And if there is a link to a photo or video, you can see a thumbnail version. Clicking the link will take you to the site so you can see a larger version of the photo or watch the video.

What’s more, you can access the search box from your TV screen, perfect for accessing real-time searches and trending topics.

With so much of television’s experience hinging on the shared reaction of live events, Twitter will be a perfect supplement to Google TV. Think about the Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” (Did that just happen!?!), or Kanye West’s drunken stage storm on Taylor Swift (Imma let you finish …). Think about the World Cup, where Twitter facilitated dialogue and team cheers during games.


With Google TV, Twitter will create a way to share your reactions live, free from having to wait for a blog’s TV show recap to comment on, or for a thread to be created on the ESPN forums.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.