Jul 14 2011
How Facebook is Changing TV
TV is battling to keep viewers glued to the TV screen, and surprisingly TV executives are turning to social media.
A new trend called “social TV” could be the key to keeping live TV audiences that the industry is looking for. Each night, more and more viewers are turning on the TV, then jumping on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone and chatting about the show on social networks.
TV operators have started to try to capitalise on the natural buzz, and Facebook is positioning itself to be the go-to solution for TV operators.
Generally, users log into Facebook to see what their friends are doing. The network focuses on personal relationships that may or may not include common interests. This means that integrating with Facebook offers TV executives a unique opportunity to personalise TV.
Facebook’s main benefit to TV comes from its extensive reach (600 million active users), and the sheer mass of data available. Facebook boasts a huge social graph: the average user has 130 friends that the user has specifically chosen to interact with. This means if a user’s friend has talked about a TV show recently, they would like to hear about it. Even if just one friend mentions the show, the comment is relevant because of the personal relationship.
Through the Facebook API, TV operators can build apps and interactive experiences around TV shows.
Additionally, TV operators are increasingly looking to use social media to enhance the EPG. Several companies such as Comcast, HBO, and TV Genius have starting experimenting with integrating Facebook into the TV experience. Comcast have included Facebook in their new Xfinity TV Guide and the logic is clear: if friends are chatting about The Apprentice, users may want to know so they can watch, too.
Instead of replacing the EPG, social media is provides the perfect tool for personalising the TV experience. While TV is a “lean back” medium, a significant proportion of viewers are starting to share their thoughts online while they are watching.
As of today, TV Genius has released Facebook-integrated EPG that personalises the TV Guide with your friend’s recommendations. (Give it a go here)
Facebook is suited to TV experiences that involve your friends and chosen brands, and could play a huge role in personalising TV and making it more interactive. Over the next year, expect to see the face of TV changing: it’s not just about sitting back and watching blankly anymore.
Source: World TVPC