Social networking has become an integral part of people’s day and it’s only natural that the movement impacts the medium that we tend to spend the most time with – TV. Take the recent Casey Anthony trial. The story was headline news and thanks to social networking, people reacted to every moment of the televised testimony in real time, driving a spiral of increased coverage on national and local news. Obviously the real-time reactions to the trial and the verdict reflect the ongoing adoption of social networking as a preferred method of communication.
Services like Facebook and Twitter “are the modern-day equivalent of the office cafeteria, a local bar or the coffee shop,” Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner Research said recently. “Those venues have diminished some in modern times and to some extent been replaced by social media.”
Want more proof? In March, Specialist digital marketing agency Digital Clarity published a survey of mobile internet users below the age of 25 which showed that eight out of 10 respondents said they used Twitter, Facebook or use other mobile applications to actively comment on shows and chat with their friends as they watch. Wow.
Of course, Twitter is still the most common place for real-time discussions happening during the show as well as the “water cooler” discussions that happen after each episode airs. Services such as GetGlue.com, GoMiso.com and the Into_Now mobile app are trying to piggyback on Twitter discussions by providing even more context and interaction around users favorite shows. With the increased chatter, SocialGuide has even launched daily ratings of the top broadcast programs and events based on the social media activity that takes places while the show is airing.
This has to be a net positive for advertisers. It allows producers and programmers to get instant, reliable feedback to improve programming, it reminds those who are familiar with the show to tune in, it provides free advertising and it introduces shows to those who may not be familiar with the program. Social TV clearly has the potential to change the viewing dynamic as well as advertiser/consumer interactions in the future.