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Social media use while watching TV high but unrelated

Social TV behaviours have continued to evolve over the years; shifting from consumers passively consuming TV – to socially consuming TV as more and more social media becomes accessible via different devices and sources.

A study from the Connected Home UX (CHX) group at Strategy Analytics has found that while use of social media when watching TV is high, use in relation to what is on the TV is low. Social TV concepts such as ‘Stevie’ Social Channels and ‘RelayTV’ have the potential to change the way in which consumers interact with social media in relation to what they watch on TV – bringing social TV to the TV itself, rather than designate such behaviours to the personal device.

Surveying consumers in the US and UK, Strategy Analytics found that while these social TV concepts were appealing to some, others found them to be “distracting” and “intrusive” to their TV experience. Similar to consumer frustration with embedded TV apps for the smart TV, participants found social TV concepts more suitable for a personal device and the individual, rather than for a collective viewing experience. Moreover, social TV concepts do have the potential to change the way in which consumers interact with social media in relation to what they watch on TV, but must incorporate certain features: be easy to use and navigate on the bigger screen, provide an individual and a collective TV experience, be customisable, and offer new capabilities and features that are unavailable on the personal device.

Taryn Tulay, Senior Analyst and report author commented “Many consumers are still utilising “offline” communication by text messaging friends/family about what they are watching on TV as it offers a more private and personal means of conversing about a TV show/event However, utilising social media to see what others are posting about a TV show is the top most frequent social TV behaviour performed by survey respondents in all regions. This is typically done in order to see other viewers’ reactions to the show or to clarify something that is confusing; providing extra insight or a different view on what happened in the show/event.”

Diane O’Neill, Director, User Experience Innovation Practice, added “Ultimately social networks and companion app developers have and should continue to integrate new features to account for evolving social TV behaviours as TV networks themselves are attempting to utilise such behaviours to their benefit – free advertising.”

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