As a dedicated, week-in, week-out fan of ITV’s crime drama Broadchurch, imagine my angst when I had to spend the evening of the series finale away from my TV. Heading home, aware that the nation was now party to the identity of Danny Latimer’s killer, I didn’t even dare look at my phone, let alone log into the spoiler-ridden sinkhole that is Twitter.
But imagine, just for a moment, the prospect of spending an entire evening on your favourite social networking site unbothered by the potential for spoilerific bombshells at every twist and turn. Well, thanks to a 17-year-old from New Hampshire, USA, that dream could become a reality.
Jennie Lamere – a teen coder who entered national coding competition TVnext Hack in Boston – has developed a new program named Twivo which allows Twitter users to remove mentions of a certain show from their news feed within a set time period. She took home the prize for “best use of sync-to-broadcast” as well as the overall “best in show” during last month’s event, beating out scores of innovations from professional developers after coming up with her idea the night before the competition.
Twivo works as an extension of the Google Chrome browser, blocking out specific references to your favourite shows. As you can see from the screen grab below, broadcasts from more prominent tweeters (for example, a show’s official account) stand out in a larger font.
Lamere – who is currently studying for her finals in AP chemistry, calculus and computer science – says the program won’t be ready for another couple of weeks, but she already has an interested backer in Furious Minds, a tech company that wants to help her market her finished product. “We’re always interested in convergence between TV and social media, and Jen’s hack was awesome, not to mention she did the entire thing herself,” said Furious Minds CEO and founder Ashley Swartz who was also a judge for the competition.
Check out Jen pitching her idea to the panel from around 3:30 in the video below…