Social media has given television viewers a chance to express their opinions about network programming in real-time. During many broadcasts, producers will prompt viewers to include a specific term about the show in their Tweets by #hashtagging the given phrase. By placing a (#) in front of a word, the user’s Tweet is then added to the running queue of all other Twitter users who are discussing the topic. This is great for boosting a show’s visibility on the web, but it also allows fans to share their thoughts and ideas with others who are passionate about the program. Ultimately, #hashtagging is an incredible international communication tool.
According to a survey of mobile Internet users below the age of 25, eight out of ten respondents said they used Twitter, Facebook or other mobile applications to comment on shows and chat with their friends as they watch TV. The survey discovered that the most common means of communication is Twitter (72%), Facebook (56%) and mobile applications (34%); 62% of the respondents like a combination of all three.
When users interact with a television show through multiple mediums at once, the phenomena is known as “secondary viewing.” Secondary viewing is expected to evolve in the coming months, as supplemental TV-show apps are released to coincide with events on television. In the future, people will be watching both their TVs and their tablets at the same time.