With social media’s ever stronger presence in everyday life, television has evolved to become a part of a multimedia system that allows users to share their views and opinions. With interactivity, the common TV set has developed into a new social platform. There is great potential for interactive TV service providers, especially with OTT technology expanding the reach of TV. TV is now available everywhere, also on multiple screens and is increasingly connected to social networks. Social TV features create an advanced and elegant user experience by connecting viewers through a social community.
An interactive TV platform with integrated social TV features brings the TV experience to a new level for the viewers by allowing subscribers to read and
post comments on social media, make content-related recommendations, follow tweet frequencies for a particular program, and see what their Facebook friends are watching. The features are designed to boost user satisfaction and attract new subscribers.
For interactive TV operators, the introduction of social TV features into their portfolio provides an additional opportunity to advertise services. Alongside
the user’s message, every post may contain a short mention of the operator’s services, e.g., “this show is best viewed on BeeniusTV One”. The text could also include a web link to subscription instructions, etc. When this post is “liked” or retweeted, the information spreads very quickly among social network users. A viral ripple effect is created and a large number of potential new interactive TV subscribers are effectively addressed in a short period of time.
In the early years of television, watching TV was a social event. TV sets and TV shows were rare, and the whole family gathered in one place to watch and share the experience. Today, our lifestyle has changed considerably, but with the emergence of social TV features, television has again become a social event . We might not any longer meet our friends in front of the same TV set, but we can still enjoy the opportunity to discuss, comment, and share opinions and views on the same show through social networks.