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Social networkers want TV airtime

More than one-third of social networkers hope to one day to interact via their TV screens, according to a new study.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Social networkers are looking to score some airtime, with 36 percent of them wanting to access their networks via TV screens, according to an ABI Research survey released Thursday.

The survey of more than 1,000 households found that younger consumers are most interested in chatting and messaging with friends while watching TV. Middle-aged adults want a more passive experience, such as the ability to check on status updates via their TV sets. And those over 50 are most interested in knowing what their friends are watching.

"Just as video entertainment is moving fluidly across various screens, so is social media," Jason Blackwell, a senior ABI Research analyst, said in a statement. "We've seen that consumers find increased value through shared entertainment experiences and want to explore and deepen these experiences through communities of interest, and that's what's social TV will ultimately do."

Intel, for one, is banking on that notion. The chip giant and Yahoo are looking to bring the Internet and interactivity to consumers' TVs.

Intel has conducted studies to gauge the pulse of consumers and has found a strong interest in connecting with friends and family via the TV, which falls within the purview of social networking.

Yahoo, meanwhile, is developing its Yahoo Widget Channel, which aims to allow network-enabled applications to run on TVs. Social-networking site MySpace has partnered with the project, providing a MySpace widget to let people access their profiles, messages, status updates, and other features.