My enjoyment of certain TV programmes goes up by adding twitter, and I’m not alone. According to econsultancy around 40% of smart phone owners and tablet owners use their devices during a TV programme.

I’ve ended up following and chatting with other watchers of the same TV programmes – so much for the anti social tag applied to both TV and mobile devices. And with more people living alone this may represent an increase in community, not a decrease.

Programme makers have seen this opportunity with many providing “official” hashtags such as #americanidol, #hignfy (Have I Got News For You), and #HGT (Holland’s Got Talent). Some programmes have even gone a step further, with the X Factor setting up voting via direct message.

Disney, perhaps the king of content providers, has added a whole range of apps to support their second screen experience, synchronising it with Blu-Ray TV. They have provided rich interactive content for some of their most popular shows on iPad or PC/Mac, but haven’t evolved to cover the android market as yet.

To me all of the above options can be considered a second screen experience, but some commentators are making a distinction between “social TV” where viewers are encouraged to use social media to interact with each other along side watching a programme, and “second screen” where the programme maker provides content specific for a programme to enhance the viewer’s experience in real time. That would include the apps provided by Disney, but could also be in depth statistics at a sports match or interviews and movie clips around an awards ceremony.

And there’s one further category to consider; those who watch the twitter feed but not the programme.

How about you – how do you watch TV?


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