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'Experimentation still rules' with social viewing

A new report by eMarketer called “Socializing the TV Experience” looks at the usage and impact of Twitter and Facebook around live TV. For example, it cited this Harris study from last March that breaks down when people interact around TV shows:

And when you break it down to 18-34 year olds, social TV participation is even higher. A TV Guide study we reported earlier this year found most people post Facebook status updates before and after a show has aired — but not during it, where Twitter dominates.

eMarketer analyzed the tweets around the CBS show Survivor, mapping tweet volume from the Spring 2011 season (red) compared to the Fall 2010 (grey). Host Jeff Probst live-tweeted along with the broadcast this last season, but not the one prior, illustrating the impact when talent becomes part of the real-time conversation around the show.

“Experimentation still rules the day,” said Debra Aho Williamson, author of the new report. “There is a great deal of uncertainty about the paths that social media and TV will take, and the extent to which they will converge over time.”

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