Yesterday after turning on the TV to watch Never Mind The Buzzcocks I finally experienced what it was like to follow a programme using its hashtag on Twitter. Is this the new way to engage with an audience?
Well it certainly seems to be heading that way, especially if the audience/Twitter followers get a chance to interact with the ‘stars’ of the show. A great example of this was when Alan Sugar took to Twitter when The Apprentice was aired. He was commenting on the show, as it happened, so for all those watchers who were on Twitter at the same time – they were able to get a running commentary from the man himself about the show. When he wasn’t arguing with Piers Morgan that is.
But does it work hand in hand with TV?
This is where it all depends. Some viewers may be enticed by the programme and don’t want their attention diverted by spending all their time on their smartphone or computer. For those that do take to Twitter, there is the thrill of getting retweeted by a celebrity or being involved in direct interaction with them.
There’s also the main bonus of getting extra content which you won’t get elsewhere. Alan Sugar lambasting contestants on the show made many of his followers chuckle and the live tweet stream is now becoming a popular thing. Ricky Gervais announced that during this week’s episode of An Idiot Abroad 2, he’d be tweeting live on behalf of Karl Pilkington. So any fans of the show would not want to miss out on some pearls of wisdom that he’ll have to offer.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks was an interesting case. For a comedy music quiz, audiences will have to be quick on their fingers if they want to tweet stuff out without missing a great joke. And to be honest, lots of the content on Twitter was nothing spectacular, it was just users quoting jokes that had just been said on screen. If I really wanted to hear it again, I’d just rewind (benefits of having Sky +).
But as I was interested in finding some hidden gems, I did follow the @NMTB_TV feed, and if I hadn’t, then I’d have never seen this:
And that’s where the true benefits of Twitter come to life. Not just pictures of comedians as felines, but the extra content that the audience don’t get to see. And all it took was for the hashtag to be shown on screen at the beginning of the episode.
Twitter users now have the chance to comment on their favourite shows and if they’re lucky get rewarded for their time with extra content, jokes, pictures and a lot of stuff that perhaps only the live audiences would be shown.
So Twitter is making its use on TV programmes – but is it limited to entertainment programmes? Why couldn’t documentaries, cooking or nature programmes use it to give secret tips, information, etc? Perhaps they will. It is highly likely they will. So surely the next step is to have a fully integrated television and Twitter unit?
What do you think of TV and Twitter combination? Do you do it?