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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Forever 21 is my favorite store to shop in, the clothes are affordable and I can find every type that I might be looking for.” –Female, 27, NY

Netflix is entering the teenage world. Their latest programming plans include shows and movies for teens and tweens, including YouTube celeb vehicle Smosh: The Movie, in an effort to attract more young viewers, “known for their elusive and fickle tastes.” Netflix’s new focus on teens is a part of their goal to be a place for every kind of audience, and could help them gain more subscribers overall, as teens tend to influence their parents’ entertainment decisions. (NYTimesFortune)

“Millennials don’t even look at email.” It’s a rumor that’s been going around, but brands should know that evidence points to the contrary. Recent research shows that almost half of Millennials say their preferred way for companies and retailers to contact them is email. Social media is of course vital to their communication with peers, but “email has also been a constant in their lives,” and is the way they deal with more “practical” communications. (B2C)

Tapingo, an on-demand delivery service that is staffed entirely by students, has become a “household name” on some of the 125 college campuses it currently services. Coffee shops that participate with the app reportedly “processing 300-500 Tapingo orders a day,” and the student couriers can deliver 3-4 orders an hour. The flexible schedule of working for Tapingo is appealing to students, who can just turn on the app when they want to accept delivery job. (TechCrunch)

Disney will be harnessing the force of unboxing videos to promote Star Wars merchandise. The brand is planning an 18-hour online unboxing marathon, “Force Friday,” featuring YouTube stars opening the toys made for the upcoming Star Wars: the Force Awakens. The approach is a huge departure from traditional toy marketing, but unboxing videos are some of the most popular on YouTube, and kids are not as exposed to TV commercials as they once were. (LATimes)

As Millennials fuel their own social good movements, it is more important than ever for brands to make a difference in the world as well. JetBlue’s recent charity effort “Soar With Reading” targets kids’ book deserts—communities where there is just one age-appropriate book for sale for every 830 children. The brand placed three book vending machines in Washington, D.C., dispensing reading material for free to young readers. (ABC)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite physical store to shop in is Walmart. There is a little bit of everything. I hate the element of people at the store but the store itself is great.” –Female, 21, OH

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