If You Livetweet Your Favorite Shows, You're An Outlier

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 11:00 AM

(NBC)

Television pushes social media really hard in its advertising these days. You'll see ads and even TV shows with hashtags in the corner, and anyone who watches AMC shows knows about their whole "second screen experience" deal which keeps you tethered to your computer while you watch The Walking Dead or Mad Men. But Nielsen has found that most viewers aren't all that engaged with social media while they watch TV. 

From an article by Vindu Goel in The New York Times:

Only 16.1 percent of the survey respondents said they had used social media while watching TV during prime time. And less than half of the people using social media were actually discussing the show they were watching.

Facebook was by far the most popular social network for people chatting during shows, used by about 11.4 percent of TV watchers, compared with 3.3 percent for Twitter.

The research findings contradict the notion — peddled heavily by Twitter and Facebook in their pitches to producers — that conversations on Twitter and Facebook are a big factor driving people to tune into TV shows.

The study found that tradtional promotion - good old fashion advertising - was still a driver for 40% of people to watch a show. The big exception was live events, especially awards shows, because everyone wants to provide running commentary on celebrity outfits and their graceful loser faces. 

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Comments [4]

Michele from NJ

I feel it is a gimmick where they try and feed into viewers sense of self importance, eg. they are listening to me, I am part of it. I think this is more likely to be used by the selfie generation. Did Neilsen poll them?
What really irks me is the amount of extraneous stuff that is now filling the bottom of my screen. Why do I have to watch programs with information on season finales, what is coming later / tomorrow / next week. And what is with the small running of teasers at the bottom corner. I change channel, or better yet - turn it off.

Apr. 11 2014 09:28 AM
Ben Paul

Where's the OTM-style incisive, trenchant analysis? TLDR just reported someone else's news and accepted it as face value.

Apr. 11 2014 09:23 AM
tankboy from Chicago

The only thing I find myself live tweeting are awards shows. They seem perfectly built for that sort of thing (no fear of spoilers, plenty of time between the action to punch out > 140 characters).

I have noticed that the new GetGlue set-up seems to be getting it partially right by allowing people to more passively interact via polls and such in order to get folks watching TV in real time. That's probably a better gambit for marketers than hoping people will live tweet.

Apr. 10 2014 01:36 PM
Adam Lauver

I never understood how people could live-tweet a TV show while watching it. I've tried doing it myself on occasion, but I find that I'm much more likely to miss out on what's happening on the screen in the current moment if I'm too busy tweeting about what happened the moment before. If you like a show enough to live-tweet about it, surely you like it enough to not want to miss out on anything by being distracted by your phone...

Apr. 10 2014 11:52 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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