ABC News on Thursday announced the launch of Social
Soundtracker, which allows users to digitally express their reactions to a live
stream video or TV program.
By logging into the interface with Facebook, users can click
on an emoticon and hear a corresponding sound for that feeling like laughing,
gasping or clapping and share it with friends. When other users feel the same
way, the user will hear their reaction, too.
Maya Baratz, head of new products at ABC News, said the team
recorded 120 different tracks to capture the full range of audience sounds. She
said the application may eventually evolve to incorporate facial detection
software to allow users to naturally express themselves.
Social Soundtracker will launch on April 27 with ABCNews.com's
live stream coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner from 8-11:30 p.m.
at abcnews.com/live. A mobile version for iPhone will launch in May, with
future events available at socialsoundtracker.com.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood said the product
is an example of his news division's start-up approach and part of its goal to
"broaden our reach and broaden our impact."