BET Awards Reveals First Interactive App

Mashable

Buried in the announcement revealing actor Samuel L. Jackson as the host for the 12th Annual BET Awards were brief descriptions of the ceremony's first mobile app.

Mashable, however, got an early demo last week of the massively interactive app. It's sprinkled with gaming elements tied to voting for the award show's nominees or predicting the order of performers during the July 1 shindig.

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The Black Entertainment Television Awards honors African-Americans in music, movies and sports. Last year, producers integrated social media heavily on air and on location through a star-studded “social media lounge.”

The slick, colorful app comes out in June and will reward users with prizes and online prestige such as displaying the high scorer's Twitter handle prominently on one of the game's main interfaces.

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Aside from the gaming aspects, the app will feature a clickable timeline of the BET Awards, in-depth artist profiles, curated tweets and videos. A "Tweetmap," meanwhile, will show where app users are tweeting from and let them zoom in to view user profiles and tweets. It resembles the network's app for its 106 & Park show.

"We knew we wanted to make voting fun," Brandon Lucas, BET's VP of mobile, recently told Mashable, adding that production on the app began five months ago.

One game, Too Big to Pick, lets users vote for nominees by shooting disks into a moving goal with the slide of a finger. The more disks a user makes into the goal, the more votes that user will tally. Players can see how their Facebook friends fared in the game, too.

Another game, The Line-Up, is a fantasy sports-style game in which people predict the order of the show's performers and then compare their lists with friends and celebrities.

Both games allow players to share their scores and line-ups to Facebook and Twitter.

SEE ALSO: BET Makes Social Media Blitz Ahead of 2011 BET Awards

On Tuesday, BET Networks also unveiled the first two confirmed performers: Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown.

"We have many more acts to come," says Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials at BET Networks. "The Shrine Auditorium will be shaking for the R&B stalwarts Maze featuring Frankie Beverly as they receive the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award. We're just getting started and already the show is living up to its slogan: It's too big to miss."

Kanye West, who is no stranger to going on entertaining, multi-tweet tirades, snagged the most nominations with seven. Beyonce, who has been revamping and boosting her digital presence as of late, received six nominations.

Here is a full list of nominees for this year's show:

Best Female R&B Artist Marsha Ambrosius Beyonce Mary J. Blige Melanie Fiona Rihanna

Best Male R&B Artist Chris Brown Bruno Mars Miguel Trey Songz Usher

Best Group Bad Meets Evil Diddy-Dirty Money Maybach Music Group Mindless Behavior The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)

Best Collaboration Beyonce f/ J. Cole – "Party" Big Sean f/ Kanye West & Roscoe Dash – "Marvin & Chardonnay" DJ Khaled f/ Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne – "I'm On One" Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – "The Motto" The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – "Otis" Wale f/ Miguel – "Lotus Flower Bomb"

Best Male Hip Hop Artist Big Sean Drake J. Cole Lil Wayne Rick Ross Young Jeezy

Best Female Hip Hop Artist Diamond Nicki Minaj Brianna Perry Trina

Video of the Year Beyonce – "Countdown" Beyonce – "Love On Top" The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – "N***as in Paris" The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – "Otis" Usher – "Climax"

Video Director of the Year Beyonce & Alan Ferguson Benny Boom Chris Brown & Godfrey Tabarez Kanye West Hype Williams

Best New Artist A$AP Rocky Big Sean Diggy Future Meek Mill

Best Gospel Yolanda Adams Kim Burrell James Fortune & FIYA Fred Hammond Trin-I-Tee 5:7

Best Actress Angela Bassett Viola Davis Taraji P. Henson Regina King Zoe Saldana

Best Actor Don Cheadle Common Idris Elba Kevin Hart Denzel Washington

YoungStars Award Astro Diggy Jacob Latimore Keke Palmer Willow Smith

Best Movie Good Deeds Jumping The Broom Laugh At My Pain Red Tails The Help

Subway Sportswoman of the Year Skylar Diggins Brittney Griner Candace Parker Serena Williams Venus Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year Carmelo Anthony Kobe Bryant Victor Cruz Kevin Durant LeBron James

Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award Beyonce – "Love On Top" Chris Brown – "Turn Up the Music" Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – "The Motto" Mindless Behavior – "Hello" The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – "Otis" Wale f/ Miguel – "Lotus Flower Bomb"

Centric Award Common Estelle Robert Glasper Robin Thicke Tyrese

Best International Act: Africa Camp Mulla (Kenya) Ice Prince (Nigeria) Lira (South Africa) Mokobe (Mali) Sarkodie (Ghana) Wizkid (Nigeria)

Best International Act: UK Estelle Labrinth Emeli Sande Sway Wretch 32


BONUS: The Social Media Lounge at the 2011 BET Awards


BET Awards Social Media Lounge

D'banj (@iamdbanj), who was winner of Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.

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This story originally published on Mashable here.

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