Social media makes it socially acceptable to be super-intense about our favorite things—I’m talking singing-with-our-eyes-closed passionate about our favorite foods, pictures of dogs frolicking in leaves, workout routines, limited edition action figure collections, and especially TV shows.
People are watching more TV than ever—35.6 hours per week according to a Nielsen estimate. That’s an average of 5 hours per day. Yikes. Recently, a spate of sites similar to Foursquare have cropped up in response to our ravenous entertainment appetites allowing users to “check in” to their fave shows. Like checking into a restaurant or bar on Foursquare, these sites—Miso, Getglue, Philo, Comcast’s Tunerfish, and IntoNow—enable users to let friends know what show their boob tube is dialed into in real time. The Intonow app, kind of like Foursquare and Shazam’s love child, lets users check into a specific episode by having their Smartphone listen to the program on TV. The goal of all these sites, of course, is creating connections—connecting show watchers to each other and to new content.
Another way to up the ante on our favorite shows is through social viewing. At Adweek’s Targetcast-hosted discussion Phoenix Rising: How Technology is Transforming Foundational Media, panelists presaged that social viewing would be the next big thing. Gabbing to your best friend on the phone after the show’s over? So archaic—nostalgic as a Rockwell painting! Social Viewing sites like Paltalk enable people in different locations to watch the same video at the same time AND chat about it. Paltalk offers video chat rooms, which they refer to as screening rooms. The screening room streams the same video to all attendees and enables them to chat. With social viewing sites, there’s no need to mentally file away that witty commentary for later—viewers can share their shock, outrage, laughter, sadness, and elation in real time too.