The head of Twitter UK, Tony Wang, has a strong belief that the way broadcasters engage with their audiences could soon be undergoing a much-needed transformation.
"Social TV is based on a fundamental human instinct - to share the experience," said Wang.
Sharing his thoughts with the rest of the attendees at the IPTV World Forum, Wang emphasised the importance of hashtags and the significance of tweets. However, he also highlighted the matter of broadcasters relying on spotaneous engagement with fans discussing their shows instead of actively seeking their participation by inviting them, or at least making the extra effort to gain such engagement.
"Most [tweeted] programming is spontaneous at the moment but soon we will see as a standard, broadcasts going for, at minimum, hashtags and talent tweets," said Wang.
"And we'd love to see more and more examples of artful engagement allowing people a different perspective and the chance to shape the storyline through their interaction."
@ handles used on air can be a "powerful way to get followers, almost like subscribers," he said. Wang used the example of OxygenLive, an experiment conducted by the Oxygen network in the US, displaying onscreen talent Tweeting live during their appearances on the show. On the East Coast, where the experiment took place, the network saw a hike of 109 per cent in viewership, yet on the West Coast, where the show was without the Twitter news feed service, the increase was by only 9 per cent.
Whilst this idea of integration may seem like an ingenius concept, many audiences may wish to keep such mediums separate - as the transition from smartphone to screen could prove too much for some viewers.
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