Viewers shed their passivity
Social media use while watching the box is exploding, writes
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