Social TV app Zeebox, a poster child for evangelists of the ‘second screen’ market, has launched in the Republic of Ireland and updated its UK app with a compelling new feature for Sky and Virgin Media customers

The iOS version is already live on the Emerald Isle, with the Android version to follow later in the week. The news follows launches for the UK-based startup in the USA and Australia earlier this year. However, Irish broadcasters have not yet got access to the Zeebox API, that allows them to create custom experiences for individual shows.

The news is accompanied by an update to Zeebox’s iOS and Android apps in the UK to allow them to act as remote controls for Sky+ and Virgin Media TiVo set-top boxes.

For those unfamiliar with it, Zeebox allows users to share the TV show they’re watching with others, see live tweets about it, see relevant information about what’s being mentioned onscreen, and more. While some broadcasters have created dedicated interactive experiences that viewers can access by ‘checking in’ to particular shows via Zeebox, it hasn’t been a particularly ‘sticky’ app until now – there just hasn’t been enough incentive to keep coming back.

Now that at least some UK TV viewers can use the app to control their TV, they essentially have a ‘social remote control’ – a far more interesting proposition than a mere sideshow to what you’re watching on the ‘first screen’. While this has been possible with Vestel-manufactured set-top boxes before today, opening up to the two main subscription TV service providers in the UK makes Zeebox more useful to far more people.

For background, listen to our interview with Zeebox ZTO, Anthony Rose, earlier this year.

➤ Zeebox

Image credit: Thinkstock

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