Posted by Yaffa Finkelstein on August 16, 2012
Social media has become ubiquitous, pervading every aspect of modern life; it will define this generation. People commentate on everything, from the mundanities of everyday life to live updates on crucial world events. We are more connected to on
e another than ever before, and it seems inevitable that social media will have a continuing influence on how we view the mainstay of home entertainment, television.
Accounting for 69% of all comments about television using social media, Twitter is clearly the medium of choice at this moment, but this is perhaps set to change. The closest competitor, an app heavily geared towards television, GetGlue, took 16% of the comments overall; the recent update, GetGlue HD, looks to ensure the gap will close. It combines live commentating on shows with the ability to provide recommendations based upon what the user and the user’s friends has checked into previously; at its heart, it is an interactive social TV guide.
Blockbuster shows such as Game of Thrones, which actually crashed the GetGlue servers in the US such was the interest, and the premiere of Breaking Bad, are bringing more people round to using second screen technology, allowing their audiences to discuss the shows as they air. So if people are already interacting with their favorite shows, what’s next?
Somrat Nyogi, CEO of Miso, envisions a situation where “there will be a new market of second-screen producers, people that are creating content specifically for the second screen.” Indeed, this has already begun; HBO, using the Miso SideShow platform, has enabled fans of Game of Thrones to create their own content to share with other users. The technology is evolving all the time, and there is a clear determination amongst broadcasters to utilize it to the fullest extent.
Oprah, the undisputed doyenne of American daytime television, is at the forefront, actively encouraging viewers of “Oprah’s Lifeclass” to interact with her live and discuss the issues raised on her show, participating using the various social media platforms. Mike Proulx, co-author of the book ‘Social TV’, suggests that examples like this are showing that TV now has an “instant feedback loop the likes of which we have never seen before.” It creates a cycle; if social media interaction with the show has a noticeable effect on what occurs on the show itself, it necessarily leads to more consumer engagement and more ratings ad infinitum.
The second screen, on mobile platforms using specific apps or even on the PC, is increasingly becoming the technology that complements television – more and more producers are going have to find ways in which to leverage additional content in order to maximize ratings and consumer viewing pleasure. Social television is something that is only going to get bigger; a white paper from Trendrr for June 2012 shows social TV interactions making a jump of 681% compared to June 2011, with over 81 million interactions recorded. The apps that we are using for this, be they general like Twitter and Facebook or television specific like GetGlue, are evolving at a rate; it’s not too hard to imagine the possibilities of a new generation of user defined, user controlled content.
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