With Facebook unveiling changes to their user interface and functionality, much has been written about where Facebook is going. I think a lot of their changes are reactions to Google+, but there are some new things that I think are a natural evolution of the social platform. One of these items is social TV. I read a good article in today’s Globe that talked about changes that Netflix has made to its business model. One part of the article jumped out at me.
Mr. Hastings was in San Francisco on Thursday for Facebook’s f8 conference, where he went on stage with the social networking site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg to announce new co-operation between the two companies.
By connecting their Facebook and Netflix accounts, users will be able to see what their friends are watching, and also watch Netflix content inside through Facebook.
My first reaction was “that’s interesting!” but a few moments later, as I thought about how this would work, the whole thing gave me pause. Do people really want their TV viewing habits being broadcast across their social networks? I’m a heavy user of social media, but there are certain things I’ve never linked to my social networks. For example, I’m a video gamer. It’s something that from time to time I will spend a little time doing in the late evening as opposed to watching a movie. Many games have the ability to link to your Twitter feed and then the game tweets your achievements. I’ve stayed away from that – do I really want to broadcast latest high scores or how many hours I might have played a certain game? Not really. I think the same will be true for social TV. People might want to tweet that they are enjoying game 7 in a Stanley Cup final, but I doubt people are going to want to link their hours of watching reality TV to their Facebook networks. I could be wrong on this, but something tells me that this won’t be as killer a feature as Facebook and Netflix are hoping it will be.