Social TV

Social TV tries to take the television somewhere further than the simple fact of viewing the audiovisual content out of your screen (whereas is a TV, tablet, smartphone…) Social TV refers to the “technology” of interactive television that merges social media aspects. It merges the characteristics of social networks and the classic TV content. Adding ratings, comments, feedback, viewer participation through chats, etc. This can be done thanks to the TV screen or with many other electronic devices, as computers or handheld devices. (Who knows, maybe someday VR?).

Social TV generates debate among users and creates boundaries between them. It allows the user to follow the trends, see what he or she could like and might be missing. Also searching for some information about a show or series, or many other options. You can get involved to Social TV easily with Twitter and Facebook, but there are also specialized websites that let you interact with other user to talk about your favorite TV content. A good example of this is “rottentomatoes”.

Twitter and Facebook are both helping to connect the users around the media. Both of them are great sources of revenue because they can sell their ad gaps in these to advertisers to be displayed to a certain target.


Twitter works better for life events, as sports events or events like the Academy Awards. Facebook has more of a long tail that helps to talk about the same topic throughout a considerable time without disappearing from user’s news feed. Applied well, social TV can create a positive feedback loop for generating ultra-sticky TV programming and multi-screen ad campaigns.

Social TV was named one of the 10 most important emerging technologies by the MIT Technology Review on Social TV in 2010. And also did the magazine Technology Review.

One way content is getting old-fashioned and it’s not the main trend any more. Previously we could only watch TV without the opportunity to give our feedback. You could only sit there and absorb (or not) the content displayed, we could only talk about it to our closest circle, maybe family and friends the day after.


Now we can comment online while the show or TV series is on, previously to speculate, and after to spoil other people or just to comment what you just saw with someone in the same situation. The viewer now has the capability, not only to view, but also to talk and debate with the rest of viewers and users of social media. Now we can give our opinions just by switching on our devices and start tweeting as soon as we can.

Moreover, not only you can see your interactions with other users. But also influence the shows and series and cause an impact to them. For examples life political debates, life sports events, etc. There is a broad variety of interactions of ways of interacting: Audio chats, text chats, videoconference, and the most popular of all, web platform that provide “normal” interaction options in Facebook or Twitter. Social TV is going to be growing and growing and be more present in the life of viewers and Internet users. Bidirectionality is the way to go.

The Pixel Shark.




  1. Marketing today has gotten a lot harder because of dual screens, or the fact that consumers are no longer just sitting a watching TV, but instead they’ll have the TV on while they’re doing something else (Facebook, Twitter, ect.) Social TV gives marketers a way to capitalize on dual screens. For example, during the Super Bowl Progressive created commercial bingo, where they predicted what types of ads would be played during the Super Bowl and consumers could use the Bingo app to track those commercials and try and win the Bingo game. This made it so regardless of what was on the TV consumers were constantly thinking about Progressive insurance through their app. I think it will be interesting to see what other creative campaigns companies produce in an effort to capitalize on social TV.

  2. I definitely agree with Nicole in saying that social TV has given a way for marketers to combat the problem of dual screens. It’s definitely a great way to capture attention on all fronts. But I wonder, which social media channel is best for social TV? Is it Twitter, which I’m leaning towards, since it’s so easy to get thoughts out in real-time, conducive to watching live television? Or is it Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat? Maybe it’s a combination of all of them.

  3. Interesting post! I sometimes get worried about our society being too into social media and technology, but then I read about this and I think that it’s a really interactive and great way to be engaged with what we are watching. I like the idea of social TV because it allows people to build communities around a common interest, and can help to connect and strengthen relationships with companies and its customers. Not only are companies connecting with customers, but people are connecting with other people across the country and the world, and I love the idea of relationships being formed where they may not otherwise have been.

  4. Great post! I am all for interacting with TV, I myself am a frequent tweeter during the Bachelor or my favorite shows, and I think online interactions such as games, polls, or forums are an awesome opportunity for shows creators to interact with their fans and see what is working and what is not. Personally, I think that shows with the most suspense such as Game of Thrones or Scandal garner the most internet feedback, as the viewers are more inclined to interact when they desire more information. Also, the launch of Pottermore, the interactive site for Harry Potter fans that keeps them up to date with more information and writings by J.K. Rowling is another example of social tv, or in this case, social and movies/books combined. Overall, nice post!

  5. Sound like a great way for brands to target ads more effectively and gather more viewer and consumer data. I for one am not on my phone at all when I watch TV. One screen is enough for me. I do not get that there is a trend of people interacting while watching TV. It is frowned upon to talk or have your phone out in the movies, why would people purposely talk and seek others out that are talking while watching their show? Confusing…

  6. Great post. I think that social TV has been a revolutionary aspect that has been recently added to the TV viewing experience. I enjoy scrolling through twitter or facebook during commercials to see if any of my friends have feedback. In addition, I like seeing tweets and questions being answered or referred to on the show itself since it makes it seem as if the audience is another member of the show.

  7. Love it. With the way society interacts with social media while watching television, (myself included), I think social TV is a great way to keep television viewers in tact with the program. Especially during live events, it’s the most entertaining then because even it makes you want to tune in if not you’re watching because you want to be a part of what’s going on!

  8. Nice post. I definitely wouldn’t be able to tweet while watching a tv show — I’d be too worried that I would miss something! I would have to wait until a commercial break, which is an interesting problem for marketers: If TV ads become less of an aspect of tv media, when would I have time to interact with social advertising? I agree that suspenseful shows generate more social activity — I think that’s why sporting events are some of the more talked about/socialized tv experiences.

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