Social Media: The Greatest Development In The History Of Television Since Colour

  • Social Media

It’s the greatest development in the history of the television since the introduction of colour.

It’s not high definition TV. Nor is it 3D.  It’s social media.Twitter Xfactor voting

In the coming years social media will enhance our TV experience more than any single technological advancement since the development of colour.  Well, colour and the development of remote controls from the ones connected to TVs by wire to the infrared type.

Social media is revolutionising TV dragging it, remote control and all, from a largely passive medium into an increasingly interactive user experience.  But more than this, social media is making TV more engaging and, actually, making television better.

Dual-screening is where it’s at: watching live TV and engaging online using a phone, tablet, laptop, etc.

Research by Thinkbox shows that

* 60% concurrently watch TV and go online at least 2-3 times a week

* 37% concurrently watch TV and go online every day

Heineken’s Star Player app, which we reviewed back in April, is, despite its early flaws, a brilliant idea.

In fact, Heineken announced last week that it was going to increase social media investment following Star Player’s success.

Social TV is now mainstream.

By way of example, take these two contrasting quotes on social media:

“Twitter is a lightweight list of strangers’ lunch plans.”


“Social media is making live TV feel even livelier.”

It’s not the actual quotes so much as who they came from.  Both are from Simon Cowell.  Or ‘TV and music Impresario Simon Cowell’ to give him his full name.

In an article published yesterday in the New York Times, he’s made a pretty big U-turn on his social media thinking.

The nub of this piece is that XFactor USA will, from 2 November, start to use social media voting.  In this case, the user must follow – and be followed – by the relevant XFactor Twitter account and then DM their vote to the show.

The question of how this will affect phone vote revenues is yet to be explained.  But for social TV, dual-screening and Twitter this is a major step towards mass market adoption.

And a final word on social media by Simon Cowell: “The only powerful people now on TV, are the people on Twitter and Facebook.”