Thailand's Chatterbox Social Media App Influences Content
Chatterbox is an app that is used to take advantage of the "second screen" that people often use while watching television - namely, a computer tablet like the iPad or Android devices by companies like Google, Nexus and Samsung.
Unlike the American and European versions of the app, the Thai version of Chatterbox hopes to use the input of users on their tablet computers to actually influence the content of television shows, most of which are watched live.
Lost Remote: How does the TV industry in Thailand differ from the US?
While TV in the US is transitioning to on-demand content with the likes of Hulu, Netflix, etc., TV in Thailand and India is primarily in the form of live broadcasted content. Moreover, free TV penetration rates (+90%) are much higher than that of paid subscription content (15-20%), which translates to a mass audience that is engaged to similar content at the same time. We feel that these are the factors that make Social TV most successful, and why Sports and Reality TV/Talent Shows have the highest engagement on the second-screen.
LR: Many of the TV companion apps in the US haven’t survived, have you followed this trend? Why do you think it will be different for Chatterbox?
We understand that TV companion apps cannot survive in a market as a stand-alone product. It’s vitality is dependent on how well TV content is able to engage with audiences using the second-screen as a tool. in Thailand, Chatterbox is working with a collaboration of TV content producers in creating real-time meaningful experiences, through many forms of user engagement (social, active participation, polling, trivia).The absence of a prevalent Twitter usage in Thailand also gives Chatterbox the opportunity to be the go-to social TV platform. With our recent launch in India, Chatterbox aims to be a social tool for the media rich community of sport enthusiasts and movie fanatics.
Philip K. Dick wrote about a similar idea in his 1964 novel The Simulacra. (You may recall that 1964 was an election year in the US.) In the novel, people watching political speeches live on television could manipulate the content of the speech by manipulating special control knobs.
He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better in the dire droning-on of the speech... however, no change took place. Too many other viewers had their own ideas as to what the old man ought to be saying, Vince realized... But anyhow that was democracy.
(Read more about Dick's adjustable television)
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