VH1 has launched Co-Star, an iPad app designed to engage viewers in online conversation about their favorite TV shows like Mob Wives, Saddle Ranch and Audrina.
Available for free on iTunes, the app – which is described as a “companion” for VH1’s episodic series – allows viewers to watch video extras, browse photos, answer trivia and unlock badges.
As you can see, the home screen shows upcoming programs and specific episodes getting a lot of buzz on various social networking sites.
If a user clicks on a show that is currently on-air, the app displays a stream of tweets from viewers and show stars, while pointing the way to extra content.
The feature even works if you’re re-watching an older episode, replaying tweets from that night’s “Watch With” session.
Users can “Like” or “Share” tweets and Facebook links, as well as add their own comments to the stream.
“It’s all around the idea of commentary as a new kind of content,” explained VH1 Mobile VP Noah Vadnai.
Kristin Frank, general manager of VH1 and MTV Digital, described the phenomena of people watching TV while using social networks and the Internet.
“People are creating, sharing, interacting with content across multiple devices and platforms,” she said.
“We’re focused on products and experiences that are complementary and have a symbiotic relationship to other screens.”
It should be noted that many TV stations and shows such as Bad Girls Clubs and Grey’s Anatomy are moving towards modes of social engagement like Twitter trackers and mobile apps to encourage fan interaction and boost ratings.