Facebook and Twitter Through the TV

Print this articleTwitter and Facebook are unique among the social network websites because of their large user base and constant stream of new content. Since both of these sites are updated frequently, it seems natural that people would want to use them in a similar way to TV viewership. There are various ways people can access Twitter and Facebook content from their TV screens, and ways they can interact on Twitter and Facebook to discuss their favorite TV shows.

Related Searches: Web-Enabled TVs

Many newer TVs feature Web content in addition to the standard network and cable TV channels. This content is mostly video or audio, such as Netflix, YouTube and Pandora radio, but often also includes social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Companies such as Vizio, Sony and Samsung all have TVs with Web content. These TVs generally don't have a browser, like your computer does, but instead have widgets or apps, each of which provides access to a specific Internet service. There is a Twitter app to display just Twitter, and a Facebook app that gives you access to just Facebook.

Set-Top Boxes

Another way Internet content is coming to TV screens is through set-top boxes. Several popular set-top boxes bring this content to the living room TV, but the one most successful at bringing Facebook and Twitter to the TV screen is the Boxee Box. This unusually-shaped box features a remote with a Qwerty keyboard on the back, making it easy to type from the couch. Verizon FIOS provides set-top boxes for its customers that feature Facebook and Twitter widgets.

Viewer Use of Twitter and Facebook

Studies show that TV viewers are watching TV and engaging in Twitter and Facebook activity at the same time, whether these viewers do it on their TV, laptop computer, tablet or smart phone. They are talking about the shows they are watching with their friends online. This provides many opportunities for the TV show producers and their marketing groups, but it also provides a challenge. Viewers on the west coast risk being "spoiled" and reading about the plot of an episode before it airs in their area, and overseas viewers have an even bigger problem since a show might not air in their country until weeks after it airs in the US.

TV Show Promotion Using Twitter and Facebook

Twitter is advising TV producers on how to use their service to market their shows. They encourage the use of hashtags that the producers specify as a way to help users find posts about their favorite TV show. Then suggest producers announce the hashtag with a specific call to action, telling viewers a question to answer or an action to take. On Facebook, since there is more multimedia integration, producers can share sneak peek clips of the show earlier in the day to build interest, and encourage "likes" and comments by asking viewers to speculate on what will happen on the upcoming episode.

ReferencesReadWriteWeb: Verizon Unveils their Vision for the Web-Connected TV. Sarah Perez. March 2009.Boxee: Tibber, a Twiter app for boxee. Avner Ronen. June 2009.Mashable Business: Best of Boxee: 5 Apps for Killer Entertainment. Jennifer Van Grove.The Guardian: Facebook says TV shows should be using Facebook Places check-ins. Stuart Dredge. April 2011.SocialWayne.com: New Twitter youtube video to show TV Shows how to use Twitter. Wayne Sutton. May 2011.Twitter Developers: Twitter on TV: A Producer's Guide.The Wall Street Journal: Tech Journal: TV Shapes Up as Web Battleground. Jessica Hodgson. Sept. 2009.Read Next:

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