Microsoft has announced that a number of popular apps including HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Comedy Central, and others will launch on Xbox One by year's end. But easily the biggest aspect of today's news is the huge role Twitter will soon play in Microsoft's TV plans. Twitter will be directly integrated in the Xbox One's TV experience, and this is much more than the mediocre app that came before on Xbox 360.
This time, Microsoft says Twitter has been "optimized for the biggest screen in your house in a smart, contextual way." It will automatically display tweets related to the shows you're watching on cable, for instance. And Twitter will also have a place in Xbox One's OneGuide: you'll see hashtags in TV listings, and a new "trending" section will highlight shows that are currently being discussed across the service. In one fell swoop, Microsoft just became a key partner to Twitter's interactive TV ambitions. Comcast has rolled out similar Twitter support for its X1 cable platform.
Twitter is no longer relegated to the smartphone or tablet next to you on the couch. It's now on the other screen you spend hours staring at each day. But will the result prove engaging or annoying? It's up to Microsoft to find that balance. Here's what the company has to say about the new integration right now:
A commercial break turns into a quick and easy opportunity to see what other viewers are tweeting about without pulling out your phone, swiping at a tablet, or taking your attention away from your TV.
Vine, the Twitter-owned video snippet app, will also be coming to Xbox One, letting you view its six-second clips on a bigger screen. Other apps slated to appear on Xbox One in the coming months include EPIX, Crunchyroll, GoPro, MLG, iHeartRadio, NBA, NHL, and more. Here's the full list.
Update: The article has been updated with a note that Comcast offers similar integration on its X1 cable platform. Additionally, it originally suggested that Vine would allow gaming uploads. That feature has not yet been announced by Microsoft.