Yap.tv’s iPad app gets more personal, more social

Yap.tv has released the latest version of its social TV app, which is designed to help users discover new TV shows and interact with others tuning in to the same programming. The update, which is version 3.0 of the app, provides Yap.tv users with even more personalized channel lineups, while providing an even more social experience for chatting and interacting with their friends and followers on social networks.

Yap.tv, which was founded in mid-2010, is focused on creating a second-screen experience that engages users beyond just “checking in” to a show for badges, multimedia extras or other virtual rewards. Instead, the startup has attempted to put the interactivity front and center, by building show pages within its app that allow users to participate in conversations and take polls about the shows that they’re watching.

The latest version of the app expands on that capability, by adding a live chat room for shows so that users can interact with other fans watching the same show. That’s in addition to the Twitter feed of relevant content that Yap.tv brings in, allowing users to see what others are saying on the social network. It also adds detailed description of the show and photos for viewers to peruse between commercials.

Yap.tv has also added a bit of discovery and personalization to its app, giving users an easier way to browse shows that are on at any given time, as well as the ability to highlight and order their favorite shows and channels. The first thing you notice when you open the app is a wall of available shows represented by image thumbnails. Yap.tv also has a personalized channel lineup that includes programming available based on the local pay TV provider that users subscribe to.

Users can add shows to their favorites, or set channels that they want to view shows from, and order them by priority within the app. For users that want to discover new content, Yap.tv provides a view of its “Social Top 20” — the shows that its users have most interacted with — as well as a view of what their friends are watching.

Of course, Yap.tv still has significant competition in the social app space. While Philo was recently acquired by LocalResponse, check-in apps GetGlue and Miso are still going strong. Audio fingerprinting apps like IntoNow — recently acquired by Yahoo — and Shazam are also being used by TV viewers to unlock coupons and multimedia extras when a visual call-to-action appears on the screen. Finally, a growing number broadcasters are building their own apps — like VH1’s Co-Star iPad app — as companion experiences to their shows on-screen.