On social media, everyone’s a star — so shouldn’t we all be getting star treatment, like the Hollywood types get on shows like Entertainment Tonight? One Israeli start-up thinks we should, and to that end has developed a new Facebook app called “Your Show” that puts your name up in lights and makes your Facebook friends the stars they already are on your Facebook feed.
Among the changes that social media has wrought, say many experts, is the transformation of just about anyone who bothers to engage seriously with it into a celebrity — at least among their social circle. Just like in past generations, fans checked the gossip columns to see what their favorite stars were up to, today’s Facebook and Twitter users follow the people they’re fans of and put the minutiae of their lives out there for others to see.
“Think of ‘Your Show’ as a cross between Entertainment Tonight and Facebook,” said Anat Amibar, CEO of Tel Aviv’s Social Studios, which came up with the app (currently available only for Google Chrome, with apps for other browsers in development). Just like on the ubiquitous daily TV show dedicated to the doings of Hollywood’s heavy hitters, the glitz-laden Your Show features a celebrity hostess (Israeli star Noa Tishby) presenting your “news of the day.”
What do people post on Facebook? Funny videos, clever status updates, interesting photos, links to stories, and personal notes. That’s the content that Your Show presents as well, with Tishby doing the segment intros and presentation. For example, the app presents a prerecorded video segment with Tishby introducing the videos on your Facebook page, saying “and here are the most liked videos by your fans today.”
Photos, jokes and witticisms, and other select content get the same star treatment. The generic introductions segue right into your content (Tishbi isn’t onscreen while the content is being shown). In essence, Your Show is a clever Facebook feed aggregator, like Flipbook – except with a celebrity shtick.
Your Show chases content every few hours, but Tishby’s presentation doesn’t, so watching daily for many people is going to be a matter of their tolerance for celebrity TV (Entertainment Tonight does quite well in the ratings, so apparently there are many people who like celebrity shtick). Recognizing that users might suffer from celebrity ennui (or Noa Tishby overload) at some point, Social Studios says it is working on developing new formats for presentation of the content.
Investors are certainly impressed; Social Studios announced this week that it had received $700,000 from several private groups, and has added to its board of directors Joanna Drake Earl, COO of gaming platform Ngmoco and formerly head of strategy at cable station Current TV.
Since it’s a television format program, My Show is best appreciated on a full-size television set. “We realized that there is a battle going in many households for control of the big-screen TV,” said Amibar. “Companies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have not yet succeeded in transferring their user experience to TV, and Social Studios is the first one that has successfully solved this problem.”
As for Tishby, being a part of the social media scene via TV is an opportunity “to be part of the next big thing,” she said. “Social Studios has succeeded in creating a brand-new way to enjoy Facebook, using a television format. For me, it’s the start of a new kind of reality TV. I am very excited to be a part of it.”