Marking another evolutionary step in the dynamics between the public and the ways we consume information, Nielsen has released its first survey measuring the impact of Twitter on TV audiences, and vice versa.
The study didn’t unearth any groundbreaking revelations. That’s the funny thing about studies meant to mine us, the public, for information: We’re not surprised by the things we do. The data from Nielsen’s “Twitter Causation Study” reveals that 29 percent of the time Twitter does in fact “meaningfully” affect TV ratings, particularly unscripted programming such as reality TV shows and sports coverage.
Anyone who has ever live tweeted the Oscars, the Super Bowl, or America’s Got Talent knows the appeal of being able to riff on funny, inspiring or entertaining moments of spontaneity. It’s fun, and the perfect example of how our lives constantly involve multitasking. We facebook the stuffed flounder at our favorite restaurant. We instagram holding hands with a lover. And, yes, we tweet while watching TV.
That’s just where we are. As PR professionals, our job is to figure out where all of this is going. So it’s smart to measure how social media and TV are evolving together, particularly since TVs are basically morphing into computers. Will Twitter mean that crowdsourcing is the future of successful programming? Or is there any future at all for TV? Just where is all of this heading?