Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Will Online Social Networks Migrate to TV?

Rapidly growing interest in social networking has resulted in many people looking beyond the computer and mobile screens to the living room, according to a new market study by ABI Research.

A survey of over 1000 households conducted by the firm shows that consumers are looking to extend their social networks to the TV, as 36 percent of those who currently use social media on a regular basis say they would like to access their networks on the TV screen.

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

"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."

When asked which types of application they would be most interested in for social TV, the answers were somewhat dependent on age. Younger consumers were more interested in engaging with their friends through chat and messaging, while middle-aged respondents were more likely to be interested in more passive social networking behavior such as checking status updates.

The most popular potential application for those over 50 who expressed interest in TV social networking was being able to see what their friends were watching on TV.

"Today we already see tens of millions of consumers engaging in communities in the living room through online console gaming services," adds Blackwell.

"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."