Social Media is Breathing Life into TV

Social media is breating new life into an old format. Over the past few years people have talked about the decline of traditional media, in favour of new Internet-based media. Advertisers are shifting their spend away from direct mail, news print and TV to online formats. However a new social activity has the potential to revitalise TV as a format.

Increasingly people are watching TV while tapping away on their laptop or smart phone; and typically they are engaging with friends on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and maybe even Google Buzz. Naturally conversations turn towards what is happening on the box and very quickly self-forming groups emerge of people commenting online about TV programmes. This has the effect of drawing others towards these TV programmes, and so the conversation grows and viewership of the programmes grows.

Last night was a great example of it here in Ireland where the Late Late Show “trended” worldwide on Twitter. This means that throughout the world more people were talking about the Late Late Show on Twitter than any other topic. Tweeters included the phrase #latelate to their tweets to show that they were taking part in the open converastion about the programme.

This way of watching TV is not new. We always chat with our family and housemates about what’s on the box. But the new technologies have made it really easy for hundreds of people located anywhere to engage in the backchat. In my house last night we had fun chatting directly about the show, but also reading and interacting with others online.

As usual, I particularly enjoyed Headrambles unique take on things which included some gems :

“Shoulda gone to the dentist. Less painful. #latelate

“Had to leave the room. Missed Logan singing. There IS a god! #latelate

“I’m voting for song 6 #latelate” (There were only 5 entries)

“To the people of the world who are wondering what #latelate is – you have missed NOTHING.”

“The only original thing about that lot was that John Waters has lost some more hair. #latelate

“Someone please shoot Dana [and Logan] [and Whelan] #LateLate

The Late Late Show trended last night, but there are many other popular TV programmes that regularly take over the Twitter-streams including; Frontline #frontline, Primetime #primetime, X Facto #xfactor, Glee #glee, Greys Anatomy #greysanatomy and sports such as Rugby #rugby, GAA #gaa and Boxing #boxing.

Plenty of opportunity here for creative-types to tap in to a new type of captive audience.

If you think you missed anything from last night tune into the still ongoing conversation on Twitter or here is the winning entry – if you must 🙂

4 thoughts on “Social Media is Breathing Life into TV

  1. Really enjoyed the latelate for the first time in ages. Reading so many realtime comments and opinions really adds to the overall experience. Thoroughly enjoyable!

    Perhaps RTE should have a show where a live Tweeter feed is shown? Perhaps this is the future of TV entertainment.

    So what do we call this new TV social interaction then? TweetV?


  2. It certainly has made watching otherwise dull programmes infinitely more enjoyable and has been the reason for me to switch over to a particular channel on several occasions. Viewing is often further enriched by links to other related news/videos/sites etc. An opportunity also presents itself to companies advertising during these programmes to monitor the impromptu focus groups discussing the ads on view and often the products themselves. So long as spammers don’t start polluting the hashtag stream with unrelated self-promoting ‘check this out’ kind of tweets all will be well.

    There is a risk of having a twitter feed on live TV if there is no way of blocking certain tweets. But certainly displaying censored tweets or a select few encourages audience participation from the sofa. Just watch the joy when someones tweet is read out on Frontline.


  3. Agree guys, the two way interaction between online and live programme could be very powerful. This type of interactivity is afterall one of the keys to the success of the radio format.


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