Getting Busy While Watching TV

For all the talk about the intersection of social media and TV, what exactly are TV viewers doing online?  Engaging with the show, conversing with other users or just doing the ‘usual’ Facebook/Twitter dance?

Well, based on some recent studies, it seems to be a bit of the ‘usual.’  eMarketer recently reported what TV viewers are up to when watching.  Whether viewers are on Facebook or Twitter while viewing – which they are – they’re not always engaging in show-driven conversations.

…most chatter on Facebook during TV viewing related to a statement of fact (52%), such as “I’m watching [TV show title here].” Another 22% shared additional information about their current states, such as where they were watching the show, who they were with, or listing all their activities throughout the day. Just 19% were starting conversations about the show itself, and 7% were announcing they were either bored or in bed—or both.

While this may indicate the typical multi-tasking and/or lack of attention span, particularly among the younger demographics, another reason may be in play.  While Facebook and Twitter are certainly predominantly used in such circumstances, are they necessarily the best channel?  Or is there a huge opportunity for TV shows and third parties to develop richer, highly engaging, interactive ‘second screen’ environments, where users want to participate more fully.

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