For someone who is perpetually watching TV with a laptop on my knee (it’s kinda in the job description, y’know?), Twitter is something of a godsend. For example, when The X Factor is on, everyone kicks into gear and Tweets the funny things they’ve spotted and slags off/sings the praises of each contestant, making the show feel like a big, proper event.
And so. Twitter users will soon be able to tweet to each other via their TV sets while watching entertainment and sports shows, after Orange struck a deal to integrate the service into its mobile and television offerings.
Under the deal, Orange is aiming to integrate Twitter into football coverage, news, entertainment shows and films… and thereby, giving those that want it, a fun running commentary of garbled abuse and witty asides.
Orange said that Twitter services would be rolled out in the UK first, to be followed by France, Spain and Poland later this year. The service will be rolled out in other European markets next year.
“In countries where we have TV services we plan to enrich shows by allowing people to tweet while they watch their favourite programmes,” said Stephanie Hospital, director of development and partnerships at Orange.
The key to the deal, said Orange, is that Twitter will become completely integrated with the suite of digital media services available via its mobile portal.
Twitter fans will not have to go through a mobile application and then have to access their Twitter homepage every time they want to check an update.
“By integrating Twitter into our various mobile and internet services we are making it a greater part of people’s every day lives,” said Paul Francois Fournier, executive vice president at Orange.
Orange said that paying for mobile Twitter use would come out of mobile phone customers’ existing packages. In order to make sure that users with many “followers” do not exhaust their mobile package allowances rapidly controls have been put in place.
That said, Tweeters will have to set a limit in advance on the number of tweets they want to receive each day and also the number of people they are following that they want to receive updates from.
She added that while the new service would be available to all Orange customers, the company intended to push it more heavily to those with its Dolphin package, which is tailored towards multimedia phone users.
Alternatively, you could just buy an iPhone or whatever.