What To Watch In 2010: Social TV


Social media is the “thing” today. What thought did you just Tweet? Have you checked your Facebook in the last few minutes to find out what your friends are up to, see what movies they’ve watched or get the scoop on your favorite sit-com? Imagine – social networking and TV working together – – connecting with your friends and others through your big screen. According to Forbes, it’s not that far off:

Time and attention are finite resources. Just as social networking reshaped the online landscape the same may be in store for television–all while making it more social. This is one trend that could unfold rapidly depending on consumer uptake. However, the early signs so far show that 2010 is the year that social networking becomes a more ubiquitous experience that spans across all three screens. Whether it will reshape the TV attention flows the way it did with online media remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

Social networking is on a tear. Other than Google, few sites loom larger today in brokering traffic and attention flows than Twitter and Facebook. The New York Times reported recently that Twitter will soon become one of its top 10 traffic drivers. Facebook alone grabs 25% of the entire Web’s page views, according to an analysis by Perry Drake of Drake Direct.

To date, however, social networking has largely remained a two-foot experience. We engage using our PCs or, increasingly, via mobile devices. This, as a result, means that social networking has largely siphoned time and attention away from other online media, while leaving TV relatively unscathed. That’s all about to change.

A race is underway to turn social networking into an engaging 10-foot experience–one that we interact with via TVs. The technology has been in place for years. However, the price of Internet-connected HDTVs was, until recently, out of reach for most. No longer. High-definition TVs were among the top sellers on Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp. And just in time, the major social networks are racing to make the entire experience more interactive via number of channels–not just cable TV, but gaming consoles too.

So, will you be chatting with your friends on TV next year? We’ll see!