We recently participated in the Big Data Spain conference with a talk entitled “Real time semantic search engine for social TV streams”. This talk describes our ongoing experiments on social media analytics and combines our most recent developments on using semantic analysis on social networks and dealing with real-time streams of data.
Social TV, which exploded with the use of social networks while watching TV programs is a growing and exciting phenomenon. Twitter reported that more than a third of their firehose in the primetime is discussing TV (at least in the UK) while Facebook claimed 5 times more comments behind his private wall. Recently Facebook also started to offer hashtags and the Keywords Insight API for selected partners as a mean to offer aggregated statistics on Social TV conversations inside the wall.
As more users have turned into social networks to comment with friends and other viewers, broadcasters have looked into ways to be part of the conversation. They use official hashtags, let actors and anchors to tweet live and even start to offer companion apps with social share functionalities.
While the concept of socializing around TV is not new, the possibility to measure and distill the information around these interactions opens up brand new possibilities for users, broadcasters and brands alike. Interest of users already fueled Social TV as it fulfills their need to start conversations with friends, other viewers and the aired program. Chatter around TV programs may help to recommend other programs or to serve contextually relevant information about actors, characters or whatever appears in TV. Moreover, better ways to access and organize public conversations will drive new users into a TV program and engage current ones.