Televisions and mobile phones have become an integral part of everybody’s lives. We spend hours each day making calls, interacting online, sending text messages and browsing the web all on our mobiles. The other screen we spend a lot of time looking at is that of the television. Whether it is unwinding after work, embracing sport or catching up with the latest popular programs, the television makes up a large proportion of the UK’s popular culture.
So what happens when the two collide? The merging of social media and television is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few years. Until recently the use of hashtags and trending was not commonly connected with television programs, yet now it is a regular, mundane feature. Television programs even create and visibly display them throughout the show encouraging the use and discussion of the show on social media sites like Twitter.
This type of ‘social TV’ also exists on Facebook where it is possible to view opinions and remarks about shows that are commonly watched such as the likes of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother. This means that if the user logs on at a certain time whilst the program is on television it is highly likely that they will see many related posts. Sean W. Bohan Co-Founder of Decahedralist Strategic Consulting explained, ‘The user doesn’t call this social TV – they call it their normal behavior Apps that create more enhanced experiences like syncing to the audio from the TV, timed with the show, encouraging interaction etc…will create new opportunities for sponsorship and revenue. ‘
Mike Knowlton, from Murmur added, ‘I expect to see a continued growth in ‘Second Screen Viewing’, we’ll see a new move to better integration social activity into TV content.’
So what does this mean for TV in the future? Many feel a large emphasis will be placed on the encouragement of social interaction and creating a buzz about a television program through the use of social media platforms.
Overall, the move towards social media and the acceptance of it in everyday life displays how it is a platform that will not be going away.