Social viewing

Social viewing describes a recently developed practice revolving around the ability for multiple users to aggregate from multiple sources and view online videos together in a synchronized viewing experience.

Typically the experience also involves some form of instant messaging or communication to facilitate discussion pertaining to the common viewing experience.

The term in this context originated with the Toronto and Los Angeles-based company View2Gether[1] which has created proprietary technology for aggregating content from sources not controlled by the user for synchronized play and inclusion in common playlists by multiple participants with a commensurate instant messaging chat function. Other sites which provide similar functionality include Oortle (Photophlow),[2] SeeToo[3] and development of social viewing for existing portals such as Yahoo have recently been announced.[4]

The term has been used in some cases to describe online viewing within the framework of a social network,[5] however View2gether and similar sites have reconfigured the term to mean a common viewing experience as a social activity.

Social viewing has also been used in the past to describe activities such as gathering for the viewing of particular television programs, such as soap operas.[6]

Some examples of modern social viewing sites include Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

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