YouToo Gets Social On Facebook

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

It’s called YouToo and it bills itself as “the first Social TV Network.” and it’s definitely not to be confused with … well, those other guys.  And while it shares similar characteristics of a video streaming service, it also allows users to provide user generated content which can interact with its on air cable programming.  And now it’s signed a deal to provide content through Facebook.

Originally launched in 2011, the network has also been getting social content through their iOS and Android apps, which allow users to record up to 15 seconds and then send it straight to network.  To date, YouToo has broadcast nearly 100,000 user videos that are linked to their schedule of programming.

Whether via the iPhone app or through the Facebook recording portal, once the video is approved for network airing, the network takes a cool step in sending users an email giving them the date and time of the video’s premiere.  Users can also get an “aircheck” of the video as it appeared live on the air, which can then be shared via Facebook.   YouToo-ers can also record “Fame Spots,” which answer on air questions from the show being aired, “Peoplemercials,” keep track of how many times they’ve appeared on the channel, and if too shy to get in front of the camera, they can always “text to TV.”

Current programs that users can “crash,” include the cult 90’s sci-fi hit “The X-Files,” 60’s Saturday morning shows “Batman” and “The Green Hornet,” adventure series Adrenalina, and DIY shows such as Kip Kay and Howcast.  Revision3, which was recently bought by Discovery Communications also has several shows on the network, but you can bet that they will disappear soon after TDC takes command.  And there’s even their own reality show called “Say Yes and Marry Me,” where users can upload their own marriage proposals for broadcast of the ultimate engagement request.

And while YouToo is available in over 15 million cable households in America, it is by no means primarily a television network.  In fact, CEO Chris Wyatt says that the network is more of a test bed to try out out of the box software ideas.  The basic idea is to take the most popular applications and market them to companies that can turn around and customize them for their own applications.

“Youtoo is a software company that just happens to have a TV network as its testbed,” said Wyatt.

This isn’t the only application that interacts with television.  As any viewer will notice watching TV shows today, many are displaying “hashtags” (#) for their episode content in the hopes of motivating viewers to post comments on Twitter to push a narrative outside of the viewing experience. In addition, reality show host Jeff Probst is known to field questions and give away buffs from Survivor on a video app called TOUT.

But YouToo seems to be the first to actually offer interaction on-air between the audience and the programming they watch.   Started by reality TV mogul Mark Burnett.  “The amazing thing about YouToo,” says Burnett, “is that you are never more than three clicks away from being on network television.”

But you can bet that they’re destined for a name change, as Google should be suing over the name in 5-4-3 ….

Hat Tip – Mashable

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.