The highly anticipated iPhone 6 hits shelves (and doorsteps) tomorrow. To date, the talk has largely centered on the size of the phone, so much so that ‘The Verge’ published erotic poetry comprised exclusively of reviews.
Size matters, but so does the faster processor, Apple Pay (the new mobile payments platform), and an improved camera – each of which will have an impact on the social TV. Twitter came to prominence on the iPhone 3, Instagram on the iPhone 4, and Vine, Snapchat, and Whisper on the iPhone 5, but it is not the phone itself that impacts the social TV landscape – rather it is how app makers like Facebook and Twitter – and the companies they acquire – take advantage of the phone’s evolution.
With this in mind, here are three predictions for how the iPhone 6 will impact social TV.
1) The camera improvements will spawn the next great social TV app. Instagram and Vine depended on camera improvements and faster wireless connections. The new iPhone 6 camera features “1.5-micron pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture” along with “the option to capture 1080p HD at 60 fps, 240-fps slo-mo, and time-lapse video.” What is the next great social app to take advantage of these features? Hyperlapse was recently released at the iPhone 5 era, but there’s a good chance that it will really take off on the iPhone6, benefiting immediately from the high-def video.
2) Apple Pay will revolutionize social TV advertising. Research has shown that linear TV spend alone isn’t enough – brands must target users across devices. This is great for tune-in and brand recall, but what about tangible purchases? Apple Pay will store your credit card information and will change the way we transact both in-person and in front of a TV set. Second screen app users can now be presented with an offer and transact immediately. On TV, an advertiser may be able to use Shazam, QR codes, or a Twitter hashtag campaign to drive couch purchases more easily. Fans tweeting about a live show can be prompted with a special hashtag, which, if used, will trigger a discount they can take advantage of with a one or two tap payment process. The possibilities of Apple Pay are limitless and advertisers and brands – both in-store and online – are salivating.
3) Tumblr and Pinterest will become true second screen players . The larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is great news for Tumblr and Pinterest, two apps that are integral to social TV strategy overall, but have not yet translated well to mobile – the main second screen device. The visual-heavy Pinterest has been painful to use on iPhones (still the mobile device of choice for the platform’s main demo), while the visual and word-heavy Tumblr is still a blogging (and thus, a desktop/laptop) platform at heart. We have seen some amazing ways that networks have integrated the two services into their social strategy; for example, ABC Family has a highly-engaged ‘Pretty Little Liars’ audience on Pinterest, while MTV uses Tumblr in myriad ways as part of its 360,24/7 approach to fan engagement. Still, this has for the most part been limited to before and after, and not during telecasts. This could all change with the iPhone 6’s larger screen size, which will allow Pinterest and Tumblr to create more manageable phone apps that could be used by fans to interact with their favorite show and by brands to engage audiences in real-time.