Social TV Forum – London. The BBC is to launch a series of social media applications based around popular shows including Strictly Come Dancing.
Delivering a keynote speech to the Social TV Forum in London, the BBC’s controller of Vision and Online Anthony Rose gave a number of examples of how the corporation is adding social media applications to its online activities. The Strictly Come Dancing (known internationally as Dancing with the Stars) application will potentially go live this weekend, allowing online audiences to select their favourite moments that will then be aggregated for viewing after the show.
Rose said he anticipated the PC applications would eventually migrate to a converged TV, but cautioned. “When you’re chatting in the lounge and someone hogs the remote control, that’s a bad thing, are you sure you want to do the same online.”
One of the difficulties faced by the BBC and other broadcasters is the potential server load placed by high audience volumes to popular shows. “One of the problems is that when 8 million people watch on TV, how many come online before they kill your service? 800,000 can impact the server”.
Another application is the Buzz Tracker, a third party application currently running independently, but which Rose plans to integrate with the BBC site. He explained that Buzz Tracker would link the social buzz from audiences “in both directions” to list the most popular programmes.
Social media will also play a part in a relaunch of the BBC website, creating a personalised search for video, which would allow the user to follow content from the BBC and “potentially outside”, delivering a personalised feed when you return to the site. There will also be links leading to what other users are following.
Rose stressed the need to bring in other partners in order to improve the social networking aspects. “An island in this socially connected world is very tricky, you don’t just want to have BBC friends, but also Facebook friends if you have them already, so opening it up is very important”. (Picture courtesy of BBC)