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: “I can’t live without my desktop computer because it can replace most of the other devices (media streaming, music playing, getting directions, staying in contact with friends, gaming...).”—Female, 25, SC

The NBA has teamed up with Budweiser to give fans their first virtual reality experience. At their playoff game last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers gave out cardboard VR headsets that also doubled as beer carriers. Attendees could access experiences like player intros, an inside look at the locker room, and a courtside view of the national anthem. The NBA says they are “always looking for new ways to connect with…fans by leveraging emerging technologies that deliver unique experiences,” and plans to continue to launch more videos throughout the playoffs. The NBA is latest of many brands that have jumped into using VR. (Adweek

A six-year-old fan convention has gotten “too big to ignore.” Described as “the Millennial and postMillennial equivalent” of Comic-Con, VidCon connects fans with their favorite video creators and counts YouTube as a top sponsor. Attendance for the event is poised to grow to 30,000 this year from 21,000 last year, when attendees were mostly teens and females. Not missing the “chance for a direct conversation with a very important, hard-to-reach audience,” the movie industry plans to make an appearance “in a major way for the first time.” Lionsgate plans to bring the star of upcoming thriller Nerve, and Warner Bros. will be doing an “elaborate stunt” to promoteFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (The New York Times

Second screen behavior is only becoming more prevalent. Internet users are increasingly turning to additional devices while watching TV programming and commercials, leading “simultaneous usage” to grow to 85% this year from 80% in 2015. According to eMarketer, that’s 182.9 million Americans who are browsing the internet while watching TV at least once a month. Device ownership is also on the rise: smartphone ownership is expected to increase by 11% over the next few years, and tablet ownership by 4%. If the trend continues, more than nine out of ten internet users will be multi-tasking with their devices by 2018. (MediaPost

Older generations may have thing or two to teach Millennials about technology. A new study on adults in the U.K. and U.S. found that 18-34-year-olds tend to be more relaxed when it comes to online security, leading to compromised accounts. When asked if they ever used “easily cracked” passwords like birthdays, the word “password,” and “1234,” the majority of 51-69-year-olds said no, while two-thirds of Millennials who said yes. Not surprisingly, 35% of Millennials report one of their accounts was hacked over the past 12 months. (Quartz

We’ve reached peak Boomerang Generation: There are more Millennials living with their parents than significant others, roommates, or on their own, according to Pew Research data. In 2014, for the “first time in modern history,” about one-third of Millennials reported that they were living at their parents’ home. Although the recession limited the generation financially, the Washington Post says the trend has been “decades in the making, a result of deep-rooted societal transformations in education, work and family building.” Instead of marrying, moving out, and starting families, young adults are instead focusing on career paths, gaining more education, and saving up to move out on their own without the support of a significant other. (Washington Post

Quote of the Day: “I want to travel to Washington, because I love the Twilight series and I'd love to see the place it's based on.”

—Female, 23, CA

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