Dubai: A UAE-based company Arabi on TV has developed Touch TV Arabi in collaboration with SkyGrid, a US-based company in Silicon Valley, to develop the first free application to watch and share television shows and news on Facebook.

“The app allows users to watch more than 20 television channels free of charge via Facebook, and we are working to get official approval for more channels to provide the diversity and multiplicity of content that Arab users demand,” Marwa Abdel Wahed, Head of Strategy at Arabi On TV, told Gulf News.

She said, “We are in talks to add more 20 channels to the list and expect to be completed within one month.”

According to the latest study by the Dubai School of Government, the number of Arabs on Facebook stands at 45 million users compared with 37 million earlier this year. The projections indicate Arabs accessing the social networking site will reach 100 million people within 2013. Sixty per cent of users are young people, a defining feature for those who have personal accounts on the site.

The app works on all major operating systems.

“The goal of developing Touch TV is to enable Facebook users to follow the TV channels and digital TV at any time and anywhere via the internet on their laptops, tablets, and smartphones.” She also said that the application would allow the satellite channels to increase the scope of its viewers in the Arab world.

There is great interest for internet users to watch television “free of charge and through a single window.”

She said TouchTV Arabi will contribute to the rapid spread of content between the target audience through communication and interaction, and social media is furthermore a vast measure of audience engagement as audience became online representative before, during and after the show is aired the , the application will also contribute to viewers themselves in the dissemination of content materials on the largest segment of the friends on Facebook.