BSkyB buys stake in social media app Zeebox

Satellite broadcaster snaps up ten per cent of new Twitter-driven tool

Sky has bought a ten per cent stake in app firm Zeebox, giving the broadcasting company exclusive rights to integrate the media platform into its own mobile applications.

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Zeebox combines social networking and live programme information, allowing users of tablets, smartphones and PCs to interact with each other through tweets.

It was launched in October by EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt and former BBC technology chief Anthony Rose, who is responsible for successes such as iPlayer.

Sky customers will now be able to access their Sky+ box on the move, as well as use their iPhone or iPad as remote controls through Zeebox.

The company’s director of emerging products, Emma Lloyd, commented: “The integration of Zeebox’s innovative technology will enable us to make the companion device experience even richer and more engaging. We know that millions of our customers have smartphones and tablets and regularly use them to engage with Sky on mobile devices, so it’s a natural next step for us.”

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The move sees Sky finally beginning to invest in double screening technology. With Rupert Murdoch firmly established on Twitter, many will question whether these are the company’s first steps towards fully owning a micro social network of their own.