Miso: Foursquare for Television

Location-aware apps are very popular right now, whether it be Foursquare or Gowalla checking you in or Google Places finding you a highly rated restaurant nearby. The rise in mobile devices, such as smartphones that are fitted with GPS, allow this type of mobile app to rise to the mainstream. Foursquare, as we just mentioned, is a location-based app where you checkin to various locations in an effort to become the mayor of said location.

On a similar theme, Miso allows users to not checkin to locations, but into TV shows and movies that they’re currently watching. Miso is advertised as “social TV” and, in addition to it’s own service, links into Twitter and Facebook. A la Foursquare, you can also earn badge and points for watching shows and movies.

Your First Checkin

Imagine this: you’re sitting on your sofa watching The Simpsons. You pull out your iPhone (or iother iOS device) and launch the Miso app to check in. The currently trending TV shows and movies appear and you get the option to search for the show you’re watching. Once you’ve located said show you can view who else is watching, follow the show or, of course, check in.

"The Simpsons" seems to be constantly trending...

The advantage of choosing Miso over rival services is the ability to select a specific episode of the show you’re watching to inform your friends and maybe spark some discussion.

Once you’ve checked in, you earn points and possibly badges depending on the fulfillment of each badge’s criteria. When I checked into The Simpsons with a comment and allowed the app to share it on twitter, I earned three points and the “TV Newbie” badge. Also, my persona and comment appeared on the show page.

Just like Foursquare

As with Foursquare, you get a profile, recent activity/history, badges and notifications. Your profile will eventually build up with your checkins and your followings. However, instead of showing off your mayorships, it’s a lot more personal with Miso showing off the number of your checkins to your favorite shows.

The badges system is tiered into three sections: featured, achievements and levels. Featured are special badges relevant to currently broadcasting shows. Achievements and levels are a little harder to explain as their success criteria is hidden under a not-so-helpful hint.

Checking in on Miso. Yep, I can't think of a caption for this.

Gomiso.com

As with it’s rival checkin services, Miso’s main usage will be on mobile devices due to the accessibility of the service there compared to on the desktop. Away from the smartphone, this seems like a tedious and unnecessary task, but nevertheless there is a web accompaniment.

GoMiso.com acts in the same way as the app with your feed also accessible there too. In a very similar way, you can search for the show you’re watching and checkin, add links or add a comment’s to the show’s “wall”.

Conclusion

It was quite difficult to write this review because there’s not much you can say about this app aside from that you can check into TV shows. The idea is interesting and the theory of letting your friends know what you’re watching and maybe encourage them to spark a discussion if they’re watching the same show is nice. However, it seems like you can do this a lot easier on already established services like Twitter and Facebook without the need to signup and manage yet another service.

I enjoy using Foursquare because of it’s “game” element. It’s a little sad that I was quite content a week or so ago when I became the mayor of a Starbucks and an Apple store… in the same day! This conquest for mayorship is very inviting and creates a strong sense of lasting appeal. However, the lack of real goal in Miso doesn’t define a reason for you to use the service. The reality is that you can achieve this on an alternative network that you already have friends and followers on without trying to get them all to sign up to a new one.

Miso’s integrated social network publishing options don’t help it either for the reasons we just discussed: why use another service to publish to Twitter whilst offering nothing else? It would be a lot easier to bypass Miso and head straight to Twitter.

However, if you have a group of friends who are willing to sign up in order to gain a topic of discussion next time you meet, you should give this app a shot. It’s closest kin is Apple’s Ping where it only becomes useful if you’re real life friends are willing to adopt it with you.

Have you use Miso? or GetGlue? What are your experiences with them? Let us know in the comments.


Summary

An app that is good in theory, but only if your circle of friends decides to adopt it.

7