Initially, ambient social networking is about the serendipity… With our small community of early adopters, people were bumping into friends thousands of miles from home. Random pings about people nearby were leading to job offers, business partnerships, and new relationships. Apparently these moments are around us all the time. They’ve always been around us. We’ve just never been able to see them.
Engineered serendipity is part of a broader movement around ‘discovery’ that encompasses diversity, novelty and serendipity (coming out of recommendation systems and information retrieval research). Search and discovery lie at opposite ends of the same spectrum. An analogy is shopping for a yellow summer dress within a price range from a set of possible brands - this is search with intent. Discovery is like window-shopping with an undefined intent and if something of interest or value appears then it will likely be actioned.
79 percent of connected television viewers visit Facebook while watching TV.
Of those who post about TV shows, 76 percent do so live and 51 percent do so to feel connected to others who might also be watching.
As of now, serendipity certainly plays a role in contributing to tune-in. Three out of 10 people watched a TV show because of something they read or saw on a social network.
Generally I’d say there are three ways to think about content which interests you, and it’s VERY VERY HARD to do all three of these in the same product
• What you like (high relevance, high personalization; done either via algorithmic recommendations or your own curation)
• What your friends like (mixed relevance from an interest graph perspective but important because the content tells you about your friends and serves as social glue for those relationships)
• What the world likes (the watercooler, mixed relevance but important again because overall enjoyment of content isn’t just about the content itself, but the community which forms around it. You don’t want to be left out)