Is This Simple Feature The Future Of Television?

International video startup Viki has one of those features that people will either think it’s the best thing ever, or absolutely hate.

Either way, it’s pretty cool, and more companies should do it.

It has comments for online videos. The comments pop up on screen.

Unfortunately, you can’t opt into a social circle of commenters. You get everyone’s comments. If you could pick out commentary from friends it would be much better.

But, as it is, it’s kind of fun. Think about how much better blogs and news sites are with comments.

If you haven’t heard of Viki, the website is a leading international video site that allows you to watch TV shows and movies from all over the world, with subtitles in your language and for free.

Their timed comments feature allows you to read other viewers’ comments and reactions to a certain scene as you are watching a TV show or movie.

The comments are featured at the top of the screen.

For example, here a commenter is reacting to a very sad turn of events in the South Korean TV show King 2 Hearts.

viki feature

Photo: viki

The comments can be added by anyone. If you have a reaction to a certain scene in a TV show or movie you just post the time of the scene and your comment and it will be attached to the show and included in future streams of the episode at the time you specified.

Comments are usually a reaction or emotion to what is happening in a certain scene.

For example you can vent your frustrations:

viki feature

Photo: screenshot

Or you can express your sadness:

viki feature

Photo: screenshot

Or you can mention something that you notice about a scene:

viki feature

Photo: screenshot

The comments may take some getting used to but after a while, you will start to enjoy them and find many of them funny.

viki feature

Photo: screenshot

If you really hate them, Viki lets you turn them off so you are not forced to see them.

Viki’s timed comments feature give us a clue to what social video should be. It can be more than just a section for comments at the bottom. As this feature progresses, we could see features where you can see comments from your friends on your social media networks and other ways tv could go social.

Nonetheless, Hulu and other video startups should add this feature to really take advantage of their platform.

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