Social media TV to be trialled

ABC is set to trial new technology which integrates Twitter and Facebook integration with on-screen viewing.

The ABC is set to trial new technology which integrates Twitter and Facebook integration with on-screen viewing.

The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation has developed technology that allows tweets to appear on screen in conjunction with viewing, separate from the curated Tweets that appear on Q & A.

“We have basically live tweets over shows, so if you’re watching an episode of any program and someone tweets about it then you’ll be able to see that tweet on the screen live – if that’s what you want – on top of the video,” said Sebastien, social TV project leader at National ICT Australia (NICTA).

NICTA is demonstrating the technology today at its Techfest 2012 in Sydney ahead of trials due to kick off in June.

“It’s about allowing people to engage a little more than they have been able to in the past with what they’re watching,” said ABC’s manager of new media services, Chris Winter.

“One of the great prompters of conversation is what you’re watching on the telly. In the past we sit in the lounge room and talk to the person sitting next to us, in the future it will become easier and easier to engage with people who are not in the same room.”

In addition, the technology is also able to recommend shows based on previous behaviour and on what the viewer’s Facebook friends are watching.

Viewers multitasking with multiple screens is definitely on the rise, but screen-clutter is also an issue. Striking the right balance and allowing viewers to turn these features on and off will be crucial.

A Nielsen Australian Online Consumer Reporter released in 2011 found that, of 5886 people polled, 60 per cent of Australians watched TV simultaneously while using the internet. US researchers have separately found that commenting on US shows via Twitter increased 362 per cent during 2011.

A second set of trials, in January, would use a special set-top box NICTA was developing.

NICTA will potentially seek to partner with TV makers such as Samsung and Sony to have the technology built into the TV set itself.

Source / photo: The Age

8 Responses

  1. I watch almost nothing live so when I do have the compulsion to tweet about it no one else is watching so it would just be pointless, therefore I don’t. The desire to interact with people does not overpower my desire to fast forward through ads, maybe for some people it does but not for me.

  2. Because tweets on-screen cannot be repudiated or validated in real-time, it becomes an outlet, either intentionally or inadvertently for the people who posts tweets to push their own agendas, or to share comments, such as shoutouts which are of no use to anyone except the tweeter. Therefore, tweets shown on TV shows are grossly annoying rather than benefiting the viewing experience.

    I think the reason most people use the internet while watching TV is to research things they see on TV, such as actors, products or other things related to what they are seeing.

  3. Thank God it’s opt-in. For a minute there I thought Armageddon was upon us. I don’t like talking to the person sitting next to me during shows like Homeland or Dexter, so I certainly don’t want the inane blathering of chronic attention-seekers spamming across my screen. That really would be Hell on Earth.

  4. Gawd, isn’t it bad enough at the moment? We have constant popups (on the commercial channels) flogging other programs and the always-present watermarks. The tweets during Q&A are irritating enough at the moment, without adding more crap to our screens.

    Why is all this being forced upon us? I couldn’t be bothered with Twitter or Facebook, yet it’s being shoved right in our faces, like it or not. Why can’t all this stuff be kept separate, so you can be part of it if you want to without everyone else being stuck with it.

    As for screen clutter – check out ABC24 some time.

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