12 Comments

Summary:

CBS launching Social Viewing Rooms that let users watch shows and interact with each other. But is this really “social?”

Mel Brooks said the hardest thing to do was to make a person sitting alone in a room laugh out loud. Laughter is social, and that’s important to consider as watching online video on your laptop or handheld device with headphones can be a pretty isolating experience. CBS is looking to transform this experience with its new Social Viewing Rooms that let users separated by geography watch and interact with TV shows together online. But can it truly be social?

Though The Hollywood Reporter writes today that the new service launches this week, TechCrunch had written about it earlier this month. Visitors to CBS can enter Social Viewing Room for a number of its shows like Survivor, CSI, or even older shows like classic Star Trek. Once in a room, users can chat with each other, take quizzes, and do wacky things like throw an animated tomato at the screen (hilarious!).

CBS isn’t the only company trying to make the newteevee experience a more social one. Lycos has its cinema product that lets users watch a movie together, and ABC Family used Lycos for online group viewing of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. PalTalk was doing live web shows with web chats, and Yahoo enabled trash talk for its fantasy sports league.

Liz wrote before about how video wants to be social, but is text chatting really social? Can real interaction be captured virtually? Remote socializing works on services like the Xbox Live because you are part of the game, and the interaction isn’t just talking with your friend or opponent. Together you and friends create the story through your actions.

But TV shows are passive. You sit back and enjoy, and there is an energy created when friends all gather in the same place. There is no mediator filtering your actions or emotions. When you get excited, others can feel it. When you laugh, you’re not just typing in “LOL” into a chat window, you’re expressing yourself through sound and body language. Part of the fun is in the fact that you are not laughing alone.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Yes but can you kick someone out of the room or turn their comments off if they are annoying?

  2. Chris Albrecht Monday, October 20, 2008

    Tim — are people kicking you out of viewing rooms? :)

    I think that’s why shushing was invented.

  3. The ability to laugh and cry with anyone around the world is one of the great benefits of the internet. With video capability that folks like Paltalk deliver just make that experience so much more interesting.

  4. CBS Social Viewing Room Isn’t That Social Monday, October 20, 2008

    [...] has been some buzz about the launch of CBS viewing room. Chris Albrecht suggests that TV shows are meant to be passive. I disagree with Chris but I do agree with Allen Stern who [...]

  5. I actually enjoy the CBS Watch & Chat application. It can be a lot of fun with the right people and the right content. Eventually all video (TV and computer) will be IP based. There are plenty of shows, people and things I would love to experience while watching TV.

  6. CBS Tries to Make Online Viewing Social | Chris Albrecht | Voices | AllThingsD Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    [...] Read the rest of this post Print all_things_di220:http://voices.allthingsd.com/20081021/cbs-tries-to-make-online-viewing-social/ SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “CBS Tries to Make Online Viewing Social”, url: “http://voices.allthingsd.com/20081021/cbs-tries-to-make-online-viewing-social/” }); Sphere Comment Tagged: CBS, Chris Albrecht, New TeeVee, Social Viewing Rooms, Voices, television, video | permalink [...]

  7. 2008 October 21 | Tween Girls On Line Magazine Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    [...] CBS wants to make TV viewing social (offering a viewing chat room of sorts – Lycos did this for ABC Family with "The Secret Life [...]

  8. CBS ser att chattrummet kan ersätta tv-soffan, typ | Poptastic Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    [...] Via NewTeeVee [...]

  9. lololol

    imagine if there was a canned laughter bot. an IM like SPAM bot that laughs in time with jokes.

  10. Ciekawy post, dodalem twoj blog do ulubionych, bede tu teraz wpadal czesciej, pozdrawiam

Comments have been disabled for this post