HAVING already found its way to mobile phones and tablets, Facebook and Twitter will soon be a prominent part of television viewing as well thanks to new technology capable of integrating social media sites with any show on any channel.
The technology, developed by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation, displays tweets about a show overlaid on top of the television image along with recommending shows based on the viewers behaviour and what their Facebook friends are watching.
Government researchers have formed a partnership with the ABC to introduce trials 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.
”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,” he said.
The ABC already shows tweets during its Q&A program on Monday nights, with 1 million Q&A tweets sent from 75,000 accounts since 2009.
But the new technology has taken that a step further by adding a recommendation engine and the ability to view the tweets or Facebook status updates of friends for any show, not just those selected by the broadcasters.
A recent survey by Yahoo!7 of 7741 Australians found 41 per cent reported posting on Facebook while watching television and 27 per cent said they had watched a show based on a friend’s recommendation on social media.
The social TV project leader at National ICT Australia, Sebastien Ardon, said once trials had taken place partnerships with television makers could be sought in order to have the technology built into the television set itself.