Twitter, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger will be linked to a user’s “BBC ID” which they get when they register on BBC.co.uk.
Previous version BBC iPlayer V2 has delivered content to 1.5 million users, 15 million page views delivering over 1.1 billion(!) minutes of video each month across more than 40 different devices and platforms.
A killer feature for the new site: the ability to watch programmes with friends. If you already have a Windows Live Messenger account you can see which of your Windows Live Messenger friends (and other instant messenger services to be added in due course) are in iPlayer right now and what they’re watching, and even how far into the programme they are. You can then sync your iPlayer with theirs and chat with them in real time, all within the iPlayer site.
Why on earth the BBC opted for Microsoft’s cronky old IM service is beyond me, but it is so worth noting that tech supremo Eric Huggers is an ex-Microsoft executive.
iPlayer will also now have customisable modules which can be moved around by the user, similar to Google’s iGoogle page.
A new recommendation system will suggesting programs based on viewing habits/
The new site is in public beta right now – you can try it out at http://beta.bbc.co.uk/iplayer – where it will dual-run alongside the existing iPlayer site while we get your feedback, fix bugs, and add the remaining features that didn’t quite make it into the first beta release.