What Is Social Television?
is not related to "socialism" (as the word is used in political circles), but is a broad term referring to
technologies that support social interactions among viewers - a new and different way of connecting with people
that some say is the future of television.
With this new form of social media, it appears that a huge shift in power from the television and media networks
to "the people" has already occurred as more and more consumers are cancelling their cable subscriptions and
figuring out how to use their computers and TVs together. So, just what is social television? How does it work?
What are its advantages?
Social TV is the union of television and social media. It refers to the phenomenon of people communicating with
each other while watching a TV show or discussing with each other about television content using the Internet as a
medium of communication. Some people call it Immersive TV and others say Online TV, or Interactive TV. It is
basically like watching television with your family and friends. Only in this case, you are virtually connecting
with people from different parts of the world or maybe your next door neighbor, all with the help of the
Is it the same as Internet TV, Internet Protocol TV, or Web TV?
No, it is not. Internet TV allows you to watch a TV show by streaming the content to a media player or by
downloading it to your computer. Internet Protocol TV is a system that uses the internet, instead of satellite or
cable, to deliver television services. Web TV is a system that allows you to watch web-based television shows and
However, there is some ambiguity here because manufacturers are rolling out new TVs with integrated internet
capabilities for television that offer more advanced computing abilities and connectivity than your contemporary
basic television. Although they are often called Internet TVs, the correct term is Smart TV.
"There are six different types of social media: collaborative (Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (Twitter),
content communities (YouTube), Social Networking sites (Facebook), virtual game worlds (World of Warcraft), and
virtual social worlds (Second Life). Technologies include blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email,
instant messaging, music sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media
services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms." Source: Wikipedia, 2010.
Social television relies on the above-mentioned relationships to rebuild TV audiences and it appears that the
reconstruction is working. Finally, social equity via social TV - for the people. As life moves forward with social
networking, posting, chatting, friending, gaming and sports, which is a very social activity, television
manufacturers and the entertainment industry will jump on the social TV bandwagon bringing innovation and
competition to the scene and we, the people, will hopefully be the winners this time around; where watching
television becomes a two-way form of communication rather than where it is now, one-way with television producers
and advertisers deciding what, when and how we watch TV.