View­ers shed their pas­siv­ity

So­cial me­dia use while watch­ing the box is ex­plod­ing, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

TELE­VI­SION view­ers were once called couch pota­toes. Many are be­com­ing more ac­tive while watch­ing now, judg­ing by the find­ings in a new report that il­lus­trates the ex­plo­sive growth in peo­ple who watch TV while con­nected to so­cial me­dia on smart­phones and tablets.

The Nielsen com­pany says one in three peo­ple us­ing Twit­ter in June sent mes­sages at some point about the con­tent of tele­vi­sion shows, an in­crease of 27 per cent from only five months ear­lier. And that was be­fore the Olympics, which was prob­a­bly the first big event to il­lus­trate the ex­tent of sec­ond screen us­age.

‘‘Twit­ter has be­come the sec­ond screen ex­pe­ri­ence for tele­vi­sion,’’ says Deirdre Ban­non, vice-pres­i­dent of so­cial me­dia at Nielsen.

So­cial net­work­ing has be­come so per­va­sive, nearly a third of peo­ple aged 18-24 re­ported us­ing the sites while in the bath­room.

An es­ti­mated 41 per cent of tablet own­ers and 38 per cent of smart­phone own­ers used their de­vice while also watch­ing tele­vi­sion at least once a day, Nielsen says.

That per­cent­age hasn’t changed much; in fact, 40 per cent of smart­phone own­ers re­ported daily dual-screen us­age a year ear­lier, Nielsen says.

The dif­fer­ence is that far more peo­ple own th­ese de­vices and they are us­ing them for a longer pe­riod of time. The com­pany es­ti­mated that Amer­i­cans spent a to­tal of 157.5 bil­lion min­utes on mo­bile de­vices in July 2012, nearly dou­bling the 81.8 bil­lion the same month a year ear­lier.

‘‘There are big and in­ter­est­ing im­pli­ca­tions,’’ Ban­non said.

‘‘I think both tele­vi­sion net­works and ad­ver­tis­ers are on to it.’’

The so­cial me­dia can pro­vide net­works with real-time feed­back on what they are do­ing. The per­for­mance of mod­er­a­tors at

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