Tech blog

Social TV

TV channels have begun to pay more attention to social media. CNN’s coverage of the US elections last month received 56.2 million ‘social mentions’. Earlier this year, Grammy awards generated a whopping 13 million mentions outpacing even Super Bowl, which had triggered 12.2 million mentions. Networks understand that a buzz on this scale drives more viewers to their programmes and are hence paying attention to tactics to tap social media. Social networks are also alert on the opportunity. Twitter, TV’s favourite social network, recently hired a high profile TV executive to help it develop into a ‘live-TV companion’.  

 On the hardware side, smart TVs are evolving to provide a seamless social media experience. The hugely awaited Apple TV, just a rumour so far, is widely expected to further tighten the link between TV and social media. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Foxcon is testing a new TV product from Apple, setting off furious speculations from other publications on what the TV will do.

Forbes expects Apple to create a “social television network”, one that will allow you watch a programme along with your friends dispersed all over the world. You will be able to chat, cheer or groan together and interact with the programme in different ways, say by pushing the “like” or “thumbs down” button. While Social TV would likely be at the heart of the Apple device, there are guesses on what else it could come with. 

Mashable says an Apple TV would combine cable box, DVR and video apps into one device. It will also turn your iPhone or iPad into a universal remote control, which will update as the TV adds more functionality and content. You will be probably be able to control it with your voice or gestures. The TV will also share content in a two-way flow with your other gadgets.

Apple characteristically has so far declined to say anything about its TV product, but continues to drop tantalising hints. In a recent interview its CEO, Tim Cook said whenever he enters his living room and turns on the TV, he feels like he has gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years.

“It’s an area of intense interest,” was as far as he could go. If Apple can do to TV what it has done to phones, music players and tablets, it is the end of the Idiot Box as we know it.

Comments (+)