Facebook and the Second Screen Experience

The second screen experience, as it relates to television and other forms of entertainment, shows no signs of slowing down. Nintendo’s latest home console, the Wii U, has the tablet-like GamePad that adds a unique gaming experience not found on other consoles. When watching certain shows on television, people can log on to social media and get involved in ongoing discussions. These are just a few examples of how the second screen experience has been carried out, and it looks like Facebook is set to make greater changes.
Recently, Facebook unveiled a number of tools that will be used to increase user interaction during live TV shows. These include live event polls and a series of new APIs. What the tools in question will do, in theory, is encourage greater fan participation while different programs are airing. A user’s focus might be on the season premiere of a popular drama while another person might be largely invested in sports events. Whatever the case may be, modern-day television is ripe for engagement.
It’s worth noting that these tools can be customized, depending on what’s being viewed. To expand on this, there will be different icons, each one tailor-made for specific programs. For example, an Emmy statue icon would understandably be used for awards shows, which are almost guaranteed to generate conversation. What this does, in my view, is increase the scope of people the aforementioned tools can appeal to. These aren’t meant for business purposes, as they might relate to online marketing firms. The general public might see the value in them for entertainment reasons, too.
One of the challenges that Facebook might encounter, in this respect, is the bustling market that exists. Several big companies have gotten involved in the second screen experience, as evidenced by the inclusion of Apple TV. Fans of this have been able to use their TVs as second screens. Up until this past May, World Wrestling Entertainment had its own second screen feature courtesy of the WWE App, which allowed fans to absorb content beyond what they were watching on television. Facebook isn’t the first company to get involved in the second screen experience, and it’s unlikely that it will be the last.
There’s a correlation between television and social media, and it’s easy to see why companies would like to further merge the two. Traditional media broadcasting isn’t enough to stir conversation, as it was in the previous decades. On the other hand, social media is more than just a tool designed to keep family members, friends, and work colleagues connected. The entertainment component cannot be overlooked, so it makes sense that Facebook would like to build upon the aforementioned correlation. The second screen experience, as of now, is here to stay.
What is your take on the unveiling Facebook’s new tools? Do you think you’ll get use out of them if you’re someone who routinely watches television? Please leave your thoughts below!

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