How Twitter Is Changing TV

When Twitter launched in 2006, many people—including the New York Times— didn’t even know how to describe the network. The concept of micro-blogging, or constant updating seemed like it could be a fad, and many wondered how long Twitter would last. Others thought that it was just a network for people who liked to tell everyone what they were eating and doing every second of the day. In the last seven years that has all changed, and Ypulse’s most recent research (fielded in November 2013) found that 47% of Millennials 14-29 use Twitter, with 22% of those reporting that they actively post and comment on the network. With Twitter rivaling Facebook in popularity with Millennials it has become a cultural force, changing the way that they get their newstell stories, and even mourn loss. But Twitter is also beginning to alter a place many never expected it to: the television landscape. Millennial’s definition of entertainment is a fluid one, and in the fractured entertainment world technologies are merging and affecting each other in surprising ways. Twitter, a platform not even a decade old, is changing the way we talk about, interact with, and watch TV. Here are three ways it’s happening:  

1. It made the water cooler virtual, and put it in hyper-drive: 

With more shows to watch than ever before thanks to streaming originals, the explosion of award-worthy cable players, and access to a seemingly endless amount of previously aired shows, not everyone is watching the same thing at the same time. Discussing the latest plot twists of your communal favorite shows isn’t necessarily a workplace pastime in this new environment, but thanks to Twitter (and other social media) the water cooler lives on, online. The circle discussing television events might not know one another, but they are…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A wedding trend I’ve noticed recently is guests not dressing formally to the reception/wedding, more come as you are attitude.”—Female, 24, MI

This week, Mattel introduced an American Boy doll, their first male offering in the company’s 31-year history. New doll Logan Everett is part of a pair of singer-songwriters from Nashville who come with music-inspired accessories. The company reports that customers have been asking for a male doll for some time, and Mattel’s continuing strategy to diversify their offerings helped increase sales by 4% last year. (KidscreenNYTimes

Kids in Australia are spending more time online than watching TV. Research firm Roy Morgan reports that in 2016 six-13-year-olds spent an average of 12 hours a week online compared to 10.5 hours spent in front of the TV, the first time internet surpassed TV since the survey began in 2008. Online time has also almost doubled in the last eight years. The firm says, "The idea that TV is boring no matter what is on is just because TV is so static and it might have ads on it." (ABC

The current state of the White House has ignited Gen Z’s interest in politics—according to AwesomenessTV’s CEO, Brian Robbins. He reports that his own children’s newfound fascination with politics sparked by the recent election has inspired him to bring more political content to AwesomenessTV. Because “[a]n audience that really wasn't that interested is now really interested," the company will move away from “fluffy, horrible” entertainment news into political news, which could be in the form of documentaries, or scripted shows. (Business Insider)

Millennials are reporting higher rates of depression than any other generation, creating challenges at work. To avoid the stigma surrounding mental issues, young employees are increasingly resorting to using personal days to recuperate from anxiety, depression, and other afflictions. According to one expert, “this generation is not necessarily more depressed than workers of past generations, but more equipped to recognize it”—however, they fear judgement from their employers. (MarketWatch)  

Is Snap Inc. really a camera company? They say they are, and in their IPO filing the brand wrote, “In the way that the flashing cursor became the starting point for most products on desktop computers, we believe that the camera screen will be the starting point for most products on smartphones.” WeChat’s ability to read QR codes, Pinterest’s new visual search, and Facebook Messengers’ new visual capabilities all point to expanding capabilities of a camera—and the fact that “users’ experience of the world is increasingly mediated through cameras.” (The New Yorker)  

Quote of the Day: “I have a diamond wedding ring but any stone would be beautiful and appreciated.”—Female, 24, MN

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