What can we expect from Social TV?

by Andrew Roach on June 7, 2013

As social media becomes an integral part of daily life, it has started to intertwine itself with digital forms of communication particularly in the world of television.

More and more companies are developing programmes which are designed to interact with the viewer through social media sites in an attempt to deliver an all in one experience.

In the past few days, several major telecom companies such as Bell and Shaw have created partnerships with Twitter to try and offer new ways for viewers to interact with their favourite programmes at home.

But by creating social TV, will telecommunication firms help improve the way we watch television or just create a short-term advertising campaign that is forgotten as quickly as it’s launched?

One of the main aims of Social TV is for companies to use sites such as Twitter as a means to offer extra content that can’t be viewed on TV.

This can allow media companies to offer additional content to viewers while a programme is airing such as behind the scenes footage of a show or show highlights and reactions during a sports event as the game unfolds.

Communication companies won’t just have to rely on offering the content on their own website as they can use features such as Twitter Amplify to embed the content into a tweet meaning everyone can access it from a mobile device as it comes up.

This can fall right into the hands of the likes of Shaw and Bell who have strong media divisions that are associated with several leading programmes such as Big Brother, the broadcast of the Olympic Games and Canada AM.

Even though advertising additional content for leading shows through social media sites sounds like a no-brainer, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee concrete success for the networks.

Several broadcasters have tried to launch their own advertising link-ups in the past but the services have struggled to take off only attracting several thousand users during prime-time.

Alongside that, more and more people are turning to streaming services such as Netflix to watch films and TV which means that people can watch their favourite programmes in their own time and without the need to view adverts and other interruptions during a show.

By tying themselves in with leading social media sites such as Twitter, telecom companies such as Bell and Shaw won’t get a better opportunity to advertise their shows to viewers directly to such a wide audience.

But the onus is now firmly on the telecom companies to offer the right content to the masses in the right places if they are to ensure that social TV becomes an essential part of 21st century television and not just another passing trend.

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