While this is not anything surprising or groundbreaking, the television medium is ate up with the idea of using Twitter to establish some kind of audience interaction. Again, this evolution has been fairly obvious, but the concept hit one of its many upcoming peaks during the recent Royal Wedding. Not only were would-be well-wishers huddling around their monitors/televisions, waiting breathlessly to catch a glimpse of the couple, they were also running to Twitter to share their reactions.
“OMG! THE KISS WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!!! I’M SO JEALOUS!!!” or something along those lines, anyway. Not only were the tubes flooded with these kinds of tweets, but many of the television stations broadcasting the wedding were keeping track, adding them to “how many have tweeted” pile. If ABC’s numbers are to be believed, it’s pretty clear a whole lot of people watch TV with a computer/mobile device with Internet access close by:
Judging by the frozen frame, it’s not exactly certain at what point that image was captured. Nevertheless, considering the fact the Royal Wedding was not a 24-hour event — although, the run up to it certainly exceeded that — that’s a lot of comments featuring the #RoyalWedding hashtag.
Or, as the Twitter Media Blog put it:
Our work with TV partners like ABC, CNN, ITV, Sky and BBC shows that broadcast prompts like hashtags on-air immediately drive double to ten-fold increase in activity on Twitter.
Another trend is for television shows to feature desired hashtags onscreen, prompting viewers to include them when they are tweeting about, say, the latest episode of CNN Money or the Comedy Awards presentation.
There’s a video of this trend, and it shows just how omnipresent Twitter is in relation to interacting with a television audience.
Clearly, if you aren’t engaging your audience with Twitter accounts and relevant hashtags, you’re denying your audience’s ability to interact in a more personal sense. Sure, message boards are still a chosen medium for those who want to react to visual entertainment — see the AV Club and Ain’t It Cool News if you need further proof — but the immediacy of Twitter, not to mention its ability to keep comments relatively categorized via hashtags streamlines the entire process.