Daily Marauder

IS TV SOCIAL? by Marauder



Photo Credit: Sangrea.net

Guest Writer: Dr. Marie-Jose Montpetit

You can add ratings in YouTube, tell your friends in Boxee what you are watching, update your Facebook from your TV. So TV is truly connecting you with your social network. But is it a new hit thing or the rediscovery of a common TV experience?

Mass events were and remain always social: natural catastrophes, major sport events and popular shows are always better when watched together and discussed the next day. They also define a “group’s brand” – who watches what. With multiple TVs per households TV viewing has become more isolated but still many shows are better consumed in a group.  The new social TV redefines the living room and the water cooler of the 50s on a global scale; re-defining who is “close” to you.  With tools that create your personal TV listings and DVRs to record them, you can share and rate them socially.


Photo Credit: Jobing.com

Interactive TV has been around for a while, albeit without a real uptake. Are social networks finally giving it it’s sought after market? It surely seems so. There is a convergence in the TV world right now with the emergence of online video and user generated content favoring a more “connected” TV experience.  To enable this experience, devices like mobile phones are getting better screens and set top boxes are becoming higher quality in performance.  In addition, the focus is now on user experience and personalization and of course integration with Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.

But the nature of Social TV has also evolved. From adding IM to a football match to adding widgets to tell you the weather, social TV is morphing into a much more rich set of interactions. As a colleague of mine, Kevin Brooks said recently, it’s about defining “identity” and “proximity”: implemented well Social TV can combine the “lean back” experience of watching with the “lean forward” of interaction.

This isn’t only limited to just TVs but on any device: mobility is about people too. Some pundits have claimed TV is dead. Maybe it is just changing for the better: TV is now connected, mobile and of course social.

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