When Facebook recently added Clicker – the TV guide for Internet video – to its Instant Personalization program, we wrote that it was a “smart next step for the program” because now you could find out what your friends were watching and, in Facebook’s words, “spend less time channel surfing and more time socializing.”
According to SideReel, an online service similar to Clicker that helps you find content and TV shows online, that isn’t necessarily what users want. The company surveyed 1,800 users and found that TV wasn’t as social an experience for its users as it used to be, among interesting findings.
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Sidereel conducted a similar survey of its users in 2009, at which time 50% of respondents said that they were interested in sharing what they’re watching with their friends. This time around, only 25% said they wanted to share. Among the social apps, only Twitter made a significant appearance in the results, with 29% saying they used Twitter as part of sharing their TV watching socially. (See yesterday’s article, “What Glee Means for Twitter & Television” for more on Twitter’s interesting relationship with Internet TV.)
“None of the check-in services,” writes the company, “including GetGlue, Miso, Clicker or Foursquare have significant usage among SideReel’s TV watchers. Only 10 percent of users want to broadcast what they are watching or want to watch to their friends.”
According to the company, this wasn’t the only interesting finding, which came from 1,800 of its 10 million monthly unique users.
“People are mixing new technologies with familiar ones to get a personalized TV experience that includes all of their favorite shows,” said SideReel CEO Roman Arzhintar. “For many, traditional TV watching is starting to supplement online watching, rather than the other way around.”
According to the survey, 5% had used devices like Boxee or Roku, whereas 40% had connected their computer to their TV in the past month, a threefold increase over the previous year. Both Boxee and Roku are relatively new to the market and Sidereel says this number is evidence that these sorts of devices are beginning to gain traction.
As a testament to Netflix’s continued popularity, SideReel found that 70% of users who do stream video via the Internet to their TV do so using Netflix, whereas the other 30% use other sources.
What do you think? Do you want to share what you watch with friends, and vice versa, in order to figure out what’s good on television? Or is this something that just the device makers and advertisers hope users want to share?
Twitter really does seem to be the stand-out exception when it comes to social television watching, though is this different from “sharing what your watching with friends?” It seems that Twitter and TV go together more in being able to interact around a piece of content, not necessarily just sharing the fact that you indeed like a certain TV show.