Twitter, Television Sit Together for Royal Wedding

By David Cohen Comment

Media outlets including ABC News, CNN, BBC, ITV, and Sky incorporated Twitter into their coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last Friday, and Chloe Sladden of Twitter’s media team highlighted some of the ways Twitter and TV worked together in a post on the Twitter Media blog.

ABC News incorporated a Tweet tracker, similar to what MTV did for the 2010 Video Music Awards. The Tweet tracker displayed total Tweets and Tweets per minute related to the event.

The network also used hashtag polls, such as #RoyalMess vs. #RoyalSuccess, to analyze public sentiment about the Royal Wedding. Sky News took a similar route with #GoRoyals vs. #NoRoyals. The ABC News poll found that 82 percent of the network’s audience thought Middleton’s dress was a #RoyalSuccess, while 96 percent approved of the kiss between the newly married couple.

CNN made use of its #CNNTV hashtag, generating more than 15,000 Tweets and becoming a Trending Topic, and peaking at 252 Tweets per minute when Prince William and Prince Harry arrived at Westminster Abbey.

The cable news network also combined curated Tweets from royal experts, CNN talent, and its audience, timing the Tweets to the on-screen action. And it displayed groups of Tweets in full-screen mode before breaking for commercials.

BBC countered CNN’s #CNNTV with its own #BBCWedding hashtag, incorporating Tweets into its on-air coverage and posting photos on Twitter, which generated nearly 250,000 views by last Friday evening.

And ITV discussed and displayed Tweets from celebrities and viewers during its Royal Wedding coverage

As for Royal Wedding-related hashtags not tied to television networks, #RoyalWedding totaled more than 2.2 million Tweets, while #proudtobebritish peaked at 432 Tweets per minute when the newly married couple appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Kristin Hawley of Twitter’s communications team posted on the Twitter Blog:

The royal wedding is just one example of how real-time Twitter integration can enhance TV coverage and help drive viewership. In fact, we’ve found that across networks and genres, when TV shows bring Twitter elements into the broadcast, there’s a direct and immediate increase in engagement on Twitter: anywhere from two to 10 times more Tweets created while the shows air. From live Tweeting and on-screen hashtags to real-time visualizations of audience attention and the new 360-degree live events, incorporating Twitter into a television event simply and significantly increases audience engagement.