Can TV go social without being ruined?

Can TV go social without being ruined?

Yesterday, as part of Social Media Week, I gave a talk at the offices of Forward Internet Group in London about one of the most interesting emerging fields in technology right now – the transformation of television from a passive medium to an interactive, social experience.

Yes, smart TVs and second screen apps are transforming what it’s possible to do with television – from app stores to social viewing guides. The problem is that a lot of what’s out there right now just isn’t that compelling. As interesting a concept as Zeebox is, it’s not that sticky much of the time (a problem that CTO Anthony Rose told us he’s committed to solving). Meanwhile, most ‘social’ apps that run on TV’s amount to nothing more than the opportunity to look at tweets while the show you’re watching plays in a small window in the corner of the screen.

The point of my talk yesterday is that we’re still a long way from reaching a stage where we have a fulfilling television experience that’s enhanced by the Internet. Social TV guides (which can run as second screen apps or on smart TVs themselves), TV shows with a live, online social element like The Million Pound Drop Live in the UK, and shows that can dynamically alter their content to better suit the tastes and experiences of individual users thanks to technology such as the BBC’s Perceptive Media research, all point to where we’re going over the next few years.

The slides from my talk are embedded below, and you can watch a video of it too (from the 26-minute mark).

See also: 10 tech commandments for the TV industry

And: What is the future of TV? We chat to three experts [Video]

Image credit: Park Ji-Hwan / Getty Images

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