What is Social TV?
This is a social media type that has only just started within the last few years here in Australia. I define it as when you are watching TV and you are following talk about it using an online connection to “talk” (IM, hashtags, etc) to other people who are watching the same television program as you are. Wikipedia defines it as “a general term for technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content.” Here in Australia, we’ve only been experiencing this for about 3 years now, to my knowledge.
Televisions (and devices attached to)
I know back in the 1970’s some of the US stations tried to get people to use various types of devices to get feedback while people were watching, but it never took off. Qube was one of the types mentioned in a blog that I recently read. You could only get information to go into the devices and never back to you unless it was over the TV. There were also times where TV makers tried to get people to use the remote as a speaker to get people to talk about what they were watching. Again it failed due to popularity and complexity in its use. However, once the internet was starting to get more user friendly and people were accepting of it, then it seemed, that this type of feedback was destined to succeed. People were already talking about TV shows online – what they liked, didn’t like, etc so by 2000, AOL tried again to get feedback online working in the US. It failed there, but in Europe it started to become accepted and used.
Then in 2006, TV stations started to put part or full episodes of TV programs on the internet. People started to talk about it online and use it. Further technology was catching up – everything was within the TV sets when you bought them starting in 2010. In fact, Social TV was one of the top 10 emerging technologies in 2010. I know we bought one of our LCD TV’s then and it still works. Its very clumsy to use, but once you know how to use it, you can get around fairly well. With that TV, we had to actually buy a wireless antenna in order to use it online. Every now and then, the antenna doesn’t quite work and we have to go in and look at the settings and reset them, but otherwise it works fine. By the time 2012 came along, we bought a new TV for the living room of the house. This one has the antenna within it and is much easier to use. In late 2012 I believe the first LED Internet live TVs were introduced and many people are using them today.
First came the TV’s and then when smart phones and tablets really started to become popular, the applications for Social TV started. I have to say when Twitter started in 2006, it didn’t take long to catch on. When people finally started figure out how to use the # or hashtag, then people to talk about common TV shows. Today this is still very common. Then marketing departments for TV shows figured out how they could get feedback and they created their own apps or applications. This also has been complimented with TV channels also having both websites and applications to get feedback.
Some examples of these types of applications are:
PlayAlong, by Visiware (the first to allow synchronization between TV and mobile devices as TV shows are broadcasting)
Power Bar by BBC (Twitter based – agree or disagree with what is on TV or being said)
ZDF’s Rette die Million! (people at home can answer and play the same questions that are on TV)
Yahoo!7’s Fango mobile app (people can “check in” to various shows, talk via IM about the show, take quizzes, and various other interactive items)
Australian Open (has an app where people can ask sports anchors questions or have them ask different athletes questions from viewers at home)
CSC Media Group‘s BuzMuzik (is a social music channel which the online users direct which songs to play on the air)
As I’ve stated, here in Australia, it started with the Fango app (channel 7) and in the last year many of the others have apps now. Channel 9 has online viewing via their website to past shows. Channel 10 has Zeebox. The ABC channel has iView. SBS has On Demand. And these are only the mainstream channels! I’m not talking about the cable or satellite services you can get as well.
In December 2012, there were 2 types of rating systems being worked on – Nielsen bought SocialGuide, Nielsen and Twitter announced they were working on creating something called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. This is slated to begin in the fall of 2013 (so keep your eyes open!). This is what was done back in the TV days when everyone talked about the Nielsen ratings. Now, Nielsen is collaborating with Twitter for new and more updated TV Ratings.
As you can tell by reading above, we have had the TV experiences. We have also moved onto using some of the apps. These are sometimes a great experience and sometimes very frustrating. Why you wonder?
Well with Fango, both myself and my husband were both using the app on either our smartphones or tablets. However, my husband’s kept crashing over and over again. Finally he just gave up on it. Myself, I was doing the quizzes on it and some of the tying, but the way people were almost bullying others and name calling made me stop using it. The experience of it is supposed to be enjoyable, and it was more uncomfortable rather than enjoyable. The way I figure it is that if its not enjoyable why do it.
However, on the other hand, I have downloaded both the X Factor and the 7 News app and they are great. The X factor used to allow you to talk to others. Now they’ve slimmed it down to only voting and that costs money, so I’ve stopped using that one. However, the 7 News App is great because as you are watching news programs, you can give feedback on what you think about a story. It was really interesting when the Federal Election was on here because people could tell others what was more important and what you thought was complete crap and
what was truthful. Although I have to say, all some people that were using the app had to hear that it was one persons turn to speak and before they could even say a word,the worm thing took nosedives – and the poor guy hadn’t even said a word yet! So just beware that some of the voting can be just hogwash too.
What’s next for this blog?
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed these series of articles. This was the last blog about the different types of social media. Now I’ll be taking a look at how to set up successful strategies for using it.