Social TV is the next frontier in personal entertainment. The basic idea is that you are able to talk to someone else about what you are watching.
TV has moved on a lot from satellite TV and Social TV was born out of the idea that TV drives social media. You will often see the majority of conversation and buzz on Twitter and Facebook coming from TV programmes. According to Nielson research, 86% of US tablet users use them while watching TV.
Social TV is the term for technology that allows communication and social interaction in relation to TV content. Social TVs can integrate voice or text communication and video calling via the TV or another device.
The concept is still growing with a number of influential people claiming it will become more widespread and ultimately become “huge”.
The aim is to get shared watching of TV which we have lost with multiple-screens in one house. Social Media has been integral to the development of this concept and it is now been used in programmes to bring in users into programming. An example of this is through the BBC’s Free Speech through the Power Bar. This is where twitter users can tweet into the programme to show their approval/ disapproval of their panelists views. Another example is from Britain’s Got Talent who promote relevant hashtags and allow viewers to vote for their favourite act via a mobile app.
Some new systems and websites are being created in the spirit of social TV such as Tank Top TV which aggregates TV programme listings from various providers and provides you with personalised listings and recommendations for online TV viewing. Another example is Get Glue which is an entertainment based social network, allowing viewers to ‘check-in’ to what they are viewing so they can share it with their friends.
The step ahead is Smart TV which is the integration of the internet into your TV; sounds brilliant! But that is for another day…
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