HBO has launched a social-TV website to serve as a companion experience to its TV shows.
HBOConnect, available at HBO.com/connect, is a so-called “second-screen” application that allows fans to interact with each other, and on occasion, the channel’s actors and writers.
Viewers log in to HBO Connect via their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Once on the site, a slick browser-based interface allows viewers to see trending show-related subjects being discussed during episodes of hits like “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones.”
The Conversations section of the site will allow fans to interact during programs with select HBO talent at times to be announced. Upcoming onversationsc include Wendell Pierce (“Treme”), Thomas Jane (“Hung”), Bryan Greenberg (“How to Make It In America”) Janina Gavankar (“True Blood”), writers Jane Espenson (“Thrones”) and Jonathan Ames (“Bored to Death”) and documentarian Alexandra Pelosi (“Citizen U.S.A.”).
HBO Connect is not yet available for iPad, where many social-TV applications have launched, but will likely soon migrate to that platform. There’s been a growing number of second-screen plays recently as networks seek to increase viewer engagement and develop more advertising opportunities. Some, like NBC Live, are homes for the entire network, while others are show-specific, such as apps for ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s “Bones.”