Is Twitter The Future Of Television?

May 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Story, Internet TV, Microblogging, Video

Twitter’s Biz Stone offers some interesting comments today on Twitter and the future of television:

Twitter is very open. As a result, thousands of different applications, web sites, and mobile interfaces have been created by developers. These different approaches add variety and relevance to Twitter and in general make the ecosystem more interesting. However, Twitter’s openness is not limited to the web or even to mobile phones.

During the 2008 presidential elections, Hack The Debate showed us how Twitter could make television interactive and possibly even have a democratizing effect on the medium. The power of Twitter was harnessed to create new, compelling, and engaging programming. CNN was an early innovator with Twitter too. Our openness made it all possible.

Twitter’s open approach might have the power to transform television—the dominant communications receiver worldwide. We’re very excited to see where these experiments take us.

It would be a no-brainer to create a Twitter version of DiggNation. As popular as Twitter is, it would probably be an immediate hit, too.

But while DiggNation may represent a new model for media creation, Twitter has the potential to be a key facet of the future of television.

The days of televisions being broadcasting terminals are over; the future of television is open and interactive. You don’t watch TV anymore – you Twitter about it, blog about it, embed it, respond to it and remix it.

The way you watch your favorite TV show, or DiggNation for that matter, won’t be defined by the network, your cable company or by the company that made your TV; the way you watch TV will be defined by the content creator, fans of the show and you.

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4 Responses to “Is Twitter The Future Of Television?”

  1. arjun says:

    Give me a streaming TV within a Twitter client, have it filter the Twitter stream so you only see comments on the show, and you’re good.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    I suspect that the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes.

    But I CAN see a place for a media (possibly a ‘live’ TV) show having an associated twitter ID which allows audiences to feed back information to a show, either votes on participants’ performance (its a LOT cheaper than setting up a 1-900 number,) or providing a contestant some feed back for a “lifeline”

    I can see setting up scrolls of tweets from corespondents at elections (the camera cant be everywhere at once after all,) or other live events.

    But it will do squat all for creating a documentary on the homeless, or on disease in America, or on corporate fraud.

  3. Ross Gaylen says:

    I disagree with msbpodcast — Twitter-based fundraising efforts like tweetsgiving.org have proven that Twitter can be a powerful and effective tool for raising awareness (and raising funds) to support cause-based initiatives. Imagine running the homeless documentary with a tweet-ticker running across the bottom of the screen with messages of support and pledges of dollars to make a difference.

    Smart fundraisers should be thinking of how to reimagine telethons in combination with “Twitterthons.”

  4. Rob Greenlee says:

    It seems possible that since Twitter is the new blogging platform, it could serve a dual role that integrates better real-time audience feedback functions with the 140 characters limit and replace some of the present role of RSS-based blogging and podcasting. Blogging and podcasting have needed better audience participation processes (Twittering comments and uploading audience mash-ups) and functions. The combination of Twitter-easy participation/reach and FriendFeed type threaded conversations with embedded on-demand and live audio/video make for a very interesting media delivery, subscription and audience participation service that could be delivered directly to a broadband connection flat screen TV. I believe that this is the direction that Twitter will go and then it presents an interesting opportunity for the audience to really join the show and participate. The potential is great in combination with live shows… Our TV’s of the future will have this audience integration more and this could directly impact the potential of live programs (we are seeing this develop already at places like UStream) as the audience could impact the show real-time – this does come with some dangers. This is not an entirely new area, but one that will help online shows become much better experiences.

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