Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Would Twitter be 'poorer' without TV?

Twitter’s sales director, Bruce Daisely, recently said that Twitter would be “poorer” without TV.  Up to sixty per cent of Twitter users in the UK use it while watching TV, with 40% of peak-time twitter use being related to TV. These figures reinforce the view that social media can coexist with TV and add value to it.  Mr. Daisley is right to say that Twitter complements TV, rather than competes with it, but his claim that Twitter has become an EPG is a little far-fetched.  While Twitter may be good at spreading word-of-mouth recommendations about certain shows, this is very different to the social media network actually acting as an EPG.

Despite that, there is a point to be made here, and it’s one I’ve made on this blog before: while content is still king, finding the right content is becoming more difficult as the number of channels and sources of media grow. Traditional recommendation engines can only help this to a limited degree, because they are typically designed to cope with the viewing habits of one individual and not a household of people with different tastes and demographics.

Social media services like Twitter offer the potential to give real-time recommendations from a group of people that you trust, although there are still limitations to this: of the people in your Twitter feed, how many do you really care about in terms of their TV-watching habits? There are ways of addressing this by having circles of friends, in the way that Google+ does, but the current social media services don’t really handle this well.  There is potential here, but that potential hasn’t been realised yet.

No comments: