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So­cial site ex­pands reach

IF I muted all of the Twit­ter hash­tags for TV shows, how many tweets would be left to read?

Some nights for ex­am­ple, when # qanda, # Thevoiceau, # Masterchef or # Be­inglara­bin­gle are on, Twit­ter gets bogged down in the tedium of try- hard wise­cracks and inane live- tweet­ing.

I know, it’s a bit of fun. And though I may find it te­dious, my white whine here or on­line won’t change anything.

In fact, there are new and im­proved apps and in­te­gra­tions to dig­i­tal chan­nels that are set to make TV live- tweet­ing so much eas­ier.

The re­sponse on Twit­ter to Aus­tralia’s pop­u­lar brain- drain du jour, The Voice, was typ­i­cally en­thu­si­as­tic and comedic, cyn­i­cally snarky and oc­ca­sion­ally mean.

A lot of the en­thu­si­asm was driven by the pro­gram’s hosts and guests.

The Voice coaches Delta Goodrem (@ delta—goodrem) tweeted bait­ing com­ments about con­tes­tants, while Joel Mad­den (@ Joel­mad­den) gushed that Aus­tralia is his favourite coun­try in the world, and Seal (@ Seal) feis­tily de­bated the show and ev­ery­thing else with fol­low­ers, urg­ing fans to vote by phone.

Now, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment along with the ABC has an­nounced a new Twit­ter and Face­book in­te­gra­tion to their dig­i­tal broad­cast ser­vice on any chan­nel.

The tech­nol­ogy, de­vel­oped by the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Broad­band In­no­va­tion, dis­plays tweets about a show in real- time on- screen, with the abil­ity to also see what your Face­book friends are watch­ing and rec­om­mend pro­grams to them on- screen.

So­cial TV seems like a new thing, but per­haps it is ac­tu­ally hark­ing back to an era when the whole fam­ily gath­ered in front of one screen.

A sur­vey last year found 60 per cent of Aus­tralians watched TV while si­mul­ta­ne­ously us­ing the in­ter­net ( Nielsen Aus­tralian On­line Con­sumer Re­port).

A US study found com­ment­ing on Amer­i­can TV shows in­creased by 362 per cent last year.

If you’re im­pa­tient for the ABC’s in­te­gra­tion, there’s an app for that.

Twele­vi­sion is a new iOS app that cu­rates and fa­cil­i­tates par­tic­i­pa­tion in Twit­ter dis­cus­sions around Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in real time, down­load­able from twele­vi­ Twele­vi­sion ‘‘ helps you choose which chan­nel and pro­gram to watch based on the Twit­ter con­ver­sa­tions hap­pen­ing around it’’.

Within the app, you can se­lect the TV show you’re cur­rently watch­ing to view tweets about the show in real- time. The app also pre- pop­u­lates the in­ter­face with the most pop­u­lar TV pro­gram hash­tags.

There are emoti­cons called ‘‘ Re­sponse Stick­ers’’ of­fered as a short­hand for your 140- char­ac­ter opin­ions, and as is com­mon with most web and mo­bile apps, badges are awarded for var­i­ous achieve­ments.

Twele­vi­sion caters di­rectly to Aus­tralian TV tweet­ers and is indica­tive that Twit­ter is per­va­sive enough to make de­vel­op­ers keen to cap­i­talise. It’s also enough to make many of us keen to log off and tune out.

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