More and more people are engaging in “social TV”, which means they are watching TV at the same time using Facebook, Twitter or checking emails, and even tweeting actors in television shows they are currently watching – a combination of social media and TV.
Advertisers are quick to notice this trend. According to a study by Nielsen, 40 percent of tablet and smartphone users use these devices while watching TV shows. Most of them check their emails, while a good number use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to Mike Proulx, people are engaging conversations in the back channel while watching TV. They can share their sentiments regarding the television show they are currently watching, not just to people with them in the living room, but to people they know that are far away.
This reflects what TV viewing’s nature was even before the advent of the Internet: watching television is a social undertaking. Now, it is apparent that the Internet and mobile devices have expanded that side of TV viewing and made it an even more socially engaging one.
This has staggering implications for advertisers. Not only are they looking at TV ratings for ads, they are also looking at the comments in social media, which are useful information to know more about what’s popular online and what works on a given show.
In addition, news programs view social media as a way to interact with their viewers in real time, and even to converse with their viewers for breaking news.