October 10, 2013, 10:22 AM

Twitter and Comcast let shoppers buy movie tickets via tweets

Shoppers also can access TV shows from the microblogging service.

Lead Photo

A look at the new Twitter feature

Comcast Corp. is working with Twitter Inc. to turn the microblogging service into what the cable TV company’s CEO Brian Roberts calls “an instant online remote control.”

The two companies yesterday said they will enable Twitter users who subscribe to Comcast’s Xfinity TV cable service to buy movie tickets and access TV shows by clicking a See It button that appears in certain tweets on the social network.

The companies say they will launch the See It button next month with shows from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal’s networks, which include NBC, USA, Syfy and Bravo. Comcast and Twitter say that early next year they will add more content from other content distributors. Neither company gave details about the deal’s financial arrangements.

Here’s how the program works: Comcast will include a See It button in tweets about its TV programs and movies. When a consumer clicks the See It button, Twitter will offer several ways for the consumer to access the content. A consumer can buy movie tickets through the Fandango ticket-buying service, tune the user’s TV to the promoted program using his Xfinity set-top box that is linked to his Twitter account, and access the show online and set his DVR to record the show.

“Twitter is where television viewers come to talk about what they’re watching on TV when they’re watching it,” says Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO. “Millions of users are exposed to the live conversation that unfolds on Twitter while a show is on the air and now with See It, they’ll be able to tune in directly from a tweet.”

The companies also announced that NBCUniversal will use Twitter’s Amplify program, which allows advertisers to embed ads into real-time video content, to promote its TV programs. The company plans to launch its Amplify efforts with NBC Sports Group targeting soccer fans on Twitter with video highlights from the English professional Premier League. General Electric will sponsor the highlights.

The Twitter partnership with Comcast comes shortly after the microblogging service released details of its revenue, profits and user base in the form of a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in advance of its initial public offering of stock. While Twitter has 218 million active users and growing revenue, it has yet to turn a profit.

According to Internet Retailer’s 2013 Social Media 300, which ranks retailers by the percentage of traffic to their web sites from social networks, the average web site traffic from Twitter for the Top 50 retailers stands at 0.31%.

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