Watching Together: Twitter and TV

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

TV and Twitter have a special connection. Broadcasters are eager to provide new ways to drive viewer engagement. Twitter provides a forum for real-time context and commentary that turns watchers into participants.

Over the past few years, Twitter’s media team has worked with broadcasters on a new interactive experience. The video below showcases some of the on-air best practices broadcasters have embraced:

Last week, Twitter enjoyed its widest television integration to date via the live coverage of the royal wedding, as Chloe Sladden from our media team discusses on the Twitter Media blog. During the wedding, users interacted with ABC News’ coverage by using the hashtags #RoyalSuccess and #RoyalMess to voice their opinion about the events unfolding in London. They shared their thoughts with CNN by including the hashtag #CNNTV in their Tweets, causing #CNNTV to trend early in the event. And as audiences around the world watched the events live on TV, they posted millions of Tweets, peaking at 16,000 Tweets per minute between 5 and 6 a.m. EST.

The royal wedding is just one example of how real-time Twitter integration can enhance TV coverage and help drive viewership. In fact, we’ve found that across networks and genres, when TV shows bring Twitter elements into the broadcast, there’s a direct and immediate increase in engagement on Twitter: anywhere from two to ten times more Tweets created while the shows air. From live tweeting and on-screen hashtags to real-time visualizations of audience attention and the new 360-degree live events, incorporating Twitter into a television event simply and significantly increases audience engagement.