Social television is the general definition for social interactions regarding television, that take place through technological means (usually while watching television). Examples of social television include, but are not limited to: texts, phone calls, communication within social media networks such as Twitter & Facebook, and video conferencing. Platforms that specifically focus on social television interactions are also emerging. For example, Visiware has developed Play Along, which is a multi-player platform that allows users to simultaneously watch and participate in major TV game shows on PC’s, Mac’s, and smartphones such as iPhones.
Television programs are also taking initiative in social television. American Idol allows its watchers to vote for their favorite contestants via Facebook; The Voice has their judges “tweet” during shows. Various television shows also feature hashtags on the screen, which generates multitudes of Twitter activity. Television, once a medium of one-way communication (the television as the giver of information, the user being the generally voiceless absorber) is now receiving information from its users as well.
“When I’m watching Jersey Shore, I have Facebook chats with 10 friends and I’m texting a dozen people, and I can be on the phone to my best friend.”
– A participant of a study on social media and television, conducted by Viacom
Because social television allows one to access multiple social mediums simultaneously during a single session of television watching, social media transforms what used to be a rather passive pastime into an active one. Users have formed a “living room” in their cyber space, allowing discussion to take place among a limitless number of people in no time at all.
Why not maximize the fun of social television? TheLoop’s live broadcasting feature makes it extremely easy for you to participate in social television. Live streaming video can be a great medium for social television due to its multi-dimensions; you can instantly communicate sound and image to a limitless amount of people. You are able to display the television show you are watching in addition to your spoken opinions, adding a layer. You can take television discussions/analysis/viewings to a whole new dynamic level.
Watching television has never been so interactive. Have fun with this.
Author: Patricia Pham, TheLoop Global Marketing Team