Twitter TV Book: The 20 Page Guide to Social Television

January 18, 2013


A lot has been happening in the social TV marketplace. Socialguide was bought by Nielsen, Viggle and GetGlue merged and other competitors such as Miso are trying new things like moving markets.

Twitter, on the other hand, seems to be the only social network that is thriving, according to TechCrunch writer Ryan Lawler.

‘The main and most obvious reason they have found success is simply because people like Tweeting while they watch TV. As we sit down to watch a show, we not only pick out our favorite spot on the couch, but we also get ready to reveal our every thought and feeling in 140 characters or less.’

Another indicator that Twitter is and will continue to be a leader in connecting users to TV is their decision to pair up with Nielsen to create a “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.” The new rating system will deliver a “syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter” that will be available at the start of the fall 2013 season according to Nielsen. As Nielsen ratings continue to become a more dated way of measuring TV reach, this will give TV networks and advertisers a better idea of a show's popularity.

Twitter is also working to strengthen their connection between users and TV shows by creating a full time position for it. As Lawler pointed out, Twitter is currently looking for a “Manager of TV Relationships” whose main purpose will be to communicate with celebrities and get them to tweet and interact with their fans during their shows.

The social network’s most significant move with regards to social TV is their creation of  the “Twitter TV Book,” which outlines TV viewing trends and Twitter use in the UK. The main focus of the book is to show how Twitter users interact with television shows. It reveals many specific details about the tweeting habits of TV watchers such as their age, gender, peak use and device. It also offers advice on how to best reach and engage with viewers. According to Venturbeat writer Tom Cheredar, the most significant aspect of the book is that it anticipates how TV programmers, networks, and advertisers are going to drive the Twitter experience in the future.

While this data provides networks and advertisers with new information, Simon Demenco, a writer for AdAge, expresses concern about the numbers. He explains that measuring the popularity of a TV show through social media can be misleading. It is possible that a show may be heavily talked about on social media, but in reality not that many people are actually watching it and vice versa. There are just way too many variables to correct for between viewer demographics and show genres Demenco says.

Even though statistics and ratings may not always directly correlate to a show’s popularity, Twitter’s new strides in social television signify TV shows’ transformation into cross-platform brands. They are not just shows we watch and talk about with our friends later, but rather a conversation we have between other people in the the Twittersphere and even actors from the shows as we watch. This real-time interaction people have with TV, is precisely why Twitter created the “Twitter TV Book.”