Social media, in many forms, is now a part of TV and TV viewing. Recent examples from my own TV viewing experience include Twitter hashtags at the bottom of my favorite programs, for example #Glee. I’ve also noticed social media’s presence during a commercial that prompted me to interact by using the Shazam app when watching a singing or dance reality show. Another more recent example is when I had a Music Choice station on, where I was shown a QR code with the message to scan it to receive a free song from a certain artist. Basically no one can deny that social media is a part of TV viewing experience anymore, and its entanglement is ongoing. eMarketer specifically states that “live-tweeting supports live viewing” and that “Social Media Brings New Engagement to TV” now. All of these examples have that one thing in common, they encourage live viewing and discourage DVR. As a side note I am a big fan of DVR, but even I have been tempted by some of these live-viewing offers. While I do not think social media’s involvement will completely do away with DVR I do think it will encourage more live viewing. Let’s face it, DVR is a threat to TV. Today’s viewers live in a world that demands more of their time. In a world like that the obvious solution is to put off or cut out other things and that has led to DVR’s popularity. Before DVR it was recording shows on videotape. Some people act like DVR came out of nowhere as a new concept when really it was taking the prior concept of VCR recording and further integrating it with TV. With social media’s involvement, live-viewing is making a comeback. At the beginning of this week the Home Run Derby took advantage of this trend and had players and fans interacting on Twitter throughout the event http://on.mash.to/pCuFJ7. Another part of social media that is making its way to TV is video chat. Last week I wrote about Facebook vs. Google+ and it seems that the video chat technology launched by both social media platforms is a part of TV and will continue to expand into more areas of TV. One way in which it will work its way in is through TV interviews.
Phandroid has already figured out how to record Google+ hangout sessions and so it’s a given that someone will find a way to record Facebook video chats http://bit.ly/oac4KK. What does this mean for TV interviewers and entertainment show hosts? A convenient, money-saving way to interview people while looking tech-savvy. It also prompts engagement because interviews are then tied back to social media accounts like Facebook and Google+. While you can only video chat with friends via Facebook so far, not fans, there are ways around it. Interviewers can always have viewers post feedback in response to something with the promise to friend their favorites. This would allow them to video chat or leave a video message and that could appear on the air. Al Jazeera’s show “The Stream” frequently utilizes Skype for interviews so it can be done and it will be done more often. Video chat also allows news personalities to interact with viewers in new ways, such as hosting a chat before newscasts like KOMU-TV has done. There are those that speculate that social media TV platforms and apps will integrate video chat too and that it will become a normal part of TV viewing and interaction. Now that I have discussed what it will do for TV and TV viewers, here’s what it will do for the ad industry. One example is product placement in shows and movies shown on TV. Easily a place for hashtag insertion and if nothing else more people will be watching, because of increased live viewing, so those product placements will not go to waste. Another outcome could very likely be that commercials themselves have hashtags or QR codes that are only active while viewing the commercial. The QR code would open up the Facebook page or website of the brand to prompt further engagement, such as purchasing the product online, making it a direct viewing to sales link. There are so many options and so many wide-ranging effects of social media’s involvement in TV. TV needs social media and social media needs TV. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that has no limit to what it can become. The only limits are your own imagination.