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How Social Television is Making a Second Screen Connection

by Geoff Talbot on August 24, 2012

Social TelevisionThere’s no chance on having a decent conversation in my living room on a Friday night anymore. How about yours?

Some people may blame the 42-inch plasma that’s sitting in the corner flashing its seductive images in our direction, calling our imaginations forward through its portal into another world. But I’m not sure I blame “the TV” for our lack of familial interaction.

Perhaps I should blame that pesky little second screen in my lap; the iPad or the smartphone that’s constantly flashing its little green light in my direction reminding me that there are lonely others out there, in living rooms across the globe seeking some kind of human interaction on the social networks. It’s a hard screen to resist especially when it’s offering me the opportunity to connect with others and share thoughts about shows on TV.


Of course our televisions are not actually at war with the second screens in our laps; they are not actually fighting against each other to capture our attention. They are actually working together as a conduit to knock down our living room walls and turn our discrete little family watching TV experience into a social event for a whole village of television fans.

Together they are turning our passive, rather dull television watching experience into a more social and interactive joy; there actually is a conversation about the shows on television taking place, it’s just not happening within the confines of your living room anymore. I’m talking about the rapid rise of social television.


Social TV enables you to talk about and interact with the content that is on that screen in the corner of your living room. A simple example of this is NBC’s American Idol and the way in which a viewer can vote for their favorite singer as they sit on their couch at home. You’re involved, your vote matters, you’re joining with others and actively affecting the “story” of the show. You can now broadcast your thoughts and feelings to others while watching your favorite TV show online. That’s what social television is all about.

The second screen on your lap is merely the electronic device that connects you with your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Get Glue etc) to facilitate both your connection to others and your interactivity with the television content. We can now connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime. Suddenly watching TV at home doesn’t feel so lonely anymore.


Television networks are now actively encouraging your participation on the second screen. They want to facilitate and stimulate a global viral conversation about their show.  The TV networks are creating second screen applications designed around television shows. These apps often contain extra content including behind the scenes footage, show commentaries, interviews with stars, and more. The content enriches the television watching experience for the real fan, allowing them to delve more deeply into the show. You can interact with this content, share it, comment on it, or tweet about it. The content is there to help stimulate more social activity around the show.

Twitter: This is a particularly useful web-based tool that can facilitate real-time conversations with other fans. You can now watch the live twitter feed and the show simultaneously, reading tweets from other fans and also sometimes from the show’s stars.

Howard Stern used twitter magnificently when he tweeted a live director’s commentary while his film “Private Parts“ played on HBO. On a show like  “X-factor” your tweets can be used as social commentary on the show itself, where the host will often share tweets from fans throughout the episode. Then there are the tweets from the people on the show that appear on the TV screen while a show is airing. This is the case with Storage Wars where the people bidding on storage units on the show are tweeting commentary about what is happening during an auction, and those tweets appear on the TV while the show is airing. 

Facebook: Arguably, the most popular social network in the world, Facebook is a massive conduit for social sharing. Facebook sharing is built into the second screen apps of just about every television network show. Many TV shows are also using the “Facebook Fan Page” as a satellite portal to host additional content for fan sharing. Take NBC’s The Voice, which created Fan Pages for each of the finalists, so you could show support for your favorite contestants, watch extra video content, and even receive personal messages from the finalists.

GetGlue: This is solely an application for the second screen focused on entertainment that’s all about checking-in and sharing what you like. It’s a social network that is currently enjoying exponential growth. There were over 2 million users added in 2011. On GetGlue, you “check-in” when you start watching your favorite television show. You can comment and interact with others who are also checked-in. GetGlue is socially integrated with Twitter and Facebook.


Whether you like it or not there are many who believe the future of television is social. One reason they believe this is the desire people have to connect with others has been greater than the desire for entertainment. In many ways, we have always wanted our entertainment to be a social experience; it’s why we go to see movies with friends and why we invite buddies over to watch ball games.

Tell us how you like to use your second screen while watching television? Which second screen apps are you using?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 william montgomery March 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Please Help,,, I paid $49.95 for real player plus,on 2/25/2013, then this new hp crashed I had to reload every thing Except Real player Plus,, Now I can get the free version but I want what I paid for How can I reload Real Player plus????? Please send A link or call me 740 772 1772 William montgomery PS I also had real player plus on my old pc that crashed in november I paid for it about 10/2012 HELP

2 Real Team March 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi William,

On checking your records, I see that you have purchased RealPlayer Plus 16 upgrade on 02/25/2013 under the email address ”” I am unable to locate the other payment on Nov/2012 under this account.

Please be informed that you need to sign in on RealPlayer to access the Premium Benefits.

To learn how to sign in on RealPlayer follow this link:

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3 CRISTOBAL BAZAN GARCIA March 9, 2013 at 7:05 am

he descargodo con error el real playes 16. he dados los datos bancarios para que me cargen en mi cuenta el importe del costo. pero resulta que por un error no tengo nada instalado. me lo ha dejado en el basico. por lo que estoy cabreadeisimo con uds. y no tengo forma de ponerme enn contacto con ustedes. yo no se nada de informatica y menos de ingles. como puedo instalar lo que he comprado sin tener que anular el pago

4 Real Team March 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hello Cristobal,

Usted puede descargar el software RealPlayer desde: Después de instalar RealPlayer, haga clic en este enlace para saber cómo iniciar sesión en RealPlayer para obtener las características de Plus:

5 sam chansamouth July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

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6 RealPlayer Team July 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi Sam,

Sorry for the inconvenience, please send an email to, include a brief description of the issue, copy and paste the link to this thread within the email for further assistance.

7 queseppe November 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm
My name Queseppe from LSAF
We have a lot of maps with a lot of Realplayer movies (youtube etc)
But the icons do not give a few of the movie. (image vieuw)

We use computers with XP vista / vista premium etc.

How to get an image from the icons??

We can also pay for it, but we will absoluut the best answer!
Is it possible that you send us first a tryout, because we will sure that
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registration by queseppe is:
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8 RealPlayer Team November 24, 2013 at 12:57 am

Sorry you can’t view images for the downloaded videos!
We’ve already sent an email to your recent query. Please respond and we’ll go from there.

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