Social media and television

August-21-12

A match made in heaven 

Human beings have been telling stories as a form of entertainment since the dawn of time. As the centuries passed, the media took the place of the story tellers and we now entertain ourselves by watching television or going to a movie theater. Instead of gathering around the fire of a hut and swapping stories, we sit comfortably in our living room chair and turn to social media to see what kind of conversations our favorite shows are brewing. That is the new phenomenon of social media television.

Where the conversations are


If you are interested in joining the social tv movement, then Twitter is the place where you should be. By using hashtags, it is easy to see the conversations generated by a specific show. For example, if you are interested to see what is being said during the premiere of a television show, just search a related hashtag on Twitter (for example #Breakingbad) and the search results you will obtain will have this specific hashtag included in their message. Most of the big television stations have taken notice how of how much Twitter influences the way most people watch television, therefore, some hashtags are displayed on screen when a show is airing, making it easier for fans of the show to connect to one another. If you are new to Twitter, or even if you have been using it for a long time, you probably have noticed that “trends » are specific hashtags that cover many different topics. During primetime, most of the hashtags are about television shows, therefore, if you want to see the entire buzz surrounding a specific show, all you have to do is click on the hashtag and Twitter will automatically display all the tweets that are covering that specific show.

Don’t count Facebook out


It’s hard to believe that, even with its 9 hundred million users, Facebook is still lagging behind Twitter when it comes to exploiting the social television phenomenon. Some television shows even broadcast tweets live while an episode is airing. You can’t really do that with messages that are posted on Facebook. Still, some shows are striving to use Facebook to their advantage, one way or another. They create pages for characters of popular shows and have them post content on the page related to the show and passed episodes. But, despite all these efforts, Facebook is still not driving the conversations and connecting people together via social television. Its best bet is probably frictionless sharing. By logging on to say, a Netflix account via their Facebook account, people can share their favorite television shows with their friends on their wall. So far, this has been the most effective method that Facebook has used in order to steal some of the social television sparkle from Twitter.

While social television is still in its infancy, more and more applications related to shows and channels are being created every day. Everyone is still experimenting with it and it will be interesting to see where this new and exciting phenomenon will take television fans next! 


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