One third of consumers want 'social TV'

Facebook TV, coming soon?
Facebook TV, coming soon?

Over the past few years, social networking sites have spread through the internet like wildfire, creating whole nations of both nosey neighbours (who want to know everything you are doing) and show-offs (who want to tell everyone what they are doing).

So far this demand for knowledge about your fellow friends has been confined to the murky world of the internet. This, however, could all be about to change.

TV networking

A new study conducted by ABI Research has shown that many consumers want to be able to access sites like Facebook and MySpace through the humble TV set.

The survey took in details from a thousand households and found that 36 per cent of those already on social networks would like to use the gogglebox to check their favourite social-networking places.

ABI also found that the features requested to be available through a TV differed depending on the age of those asked.

Social networkers over the age of 50 would use 'social TV' to check on updates and see who is watching what on TV, while younger folks would use it for text chatting.

Web 2.0 in the living room

"Just as video entertainment is moving fluidly across various screens, so is social media," said senior analyst Jason Blackwell about the research.

"We've seen that consumers find increased value through shared entertainment experiences and want to explore and deepen these experiences through communities of interest; and that's what social TV will ultimately do."

At this year's CES, there was a proliferation of TVs announced with web capabilities. So the idea that you can soon contact people through your TV set isn't that far off.

Blackwell agrees, saying: "Just as this interest community has seen rapid growth in the past few years, we expect the extension of Web 2.0 technologies to the living room to propel growth in new communities of interest."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.