Yahoo Launches New Version of Second Screen App IntoNow

Users can more easily capture and caption photos of anything from the Olympics to True Blood

Yahoo on Monday launched a new version of IntoNow, an application it acquired last May,  overhauling the user experience with new photo, music and chatting abilities.

“IntoNow 3.0,” as Yahoo has dubbed it, introduces three principal new features to the app, which is meant to be used while watching television and is available on the iPhone, iPad and Android. This update will start on iOS devices, with an Android version coming soon.

One new feature, TV and Music Sync, provides users with content surrounding a show. Many apps, which started with a simple check-in feature, have begun to add related content to entice viewers to spend more time in the app.

Using an algorithm, IntoNow will offer features like articles and polls most relevant to specific shows, with a particular focus on sports, news and reality television programming.

Adam Cahan, CEO of IntoNow, expressed particular enthusiasm about the music side of the sync, which permits users to identify whatever song is being played during a show using audio recognition technology.

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“Audio is often interrupted by somebody speaking or is not the original work you could easily identify,” Cahan said. “We’re the first people to solve this.”

This would seem to place IntoNow in direct competition with Shazam, the hugely popular music-tagging app that has been branching into television. However, Cahan said IntoNow had no intention of entering the music discovery space.

Another new feature is CapIt, which captures what Cahan describes as those “did you see that?” moments and gives users the opportunity to provide a caption and share the photo. Anyone using the app can access frame-by-frame accounts of what happened on their TV, and can then share it across Facebook and Twitter with a cheeky caption.

“It’s not easy to share a specific moment,” Cahan said. “A lot of consumers are literally taking a picture of their TV and sharing it on Facebook. They can now do this differently and make it a more compelling user experience.”

The third new feature, Group Chat, creates private conversations around whatever show is being watched.

IntoNow, which boasts more than three million users, is one of the larger companies in the crowded second screen space where companies have all sought to capture the attention of viewers using a smartphone or tablet while watching television.

Many of the companies in that field, such as GetGlue, have been launching updates to expand their small but growing audiences. As the companies get a better sense of consumer behavior in this new world of multiple devices, much remains unknown.

Still, Cahan believes this new version, which has been in the works for months, will grow its audience by satisfying specific consumer demands.

“It is wholesale redesign of the user experience,” Cahan told TheWrap. “We have been focused on what has been working but also what we can do that’s unique and pushes the boundaries of where the second screen is going.”