With the rise of ‘event TV’ such as X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and sporting events, more and more Brits are using social networks and instant messaging to chat to friends as the events unfold. Research from Intel has found that almost half of (45 per cent) Brits have admitted to using sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MSN messenger to discuss a TV programme whilst it’s on air.
Females are leading this social change with more than half (51 per cent) of them using the online chat offerings whilst watching TV when compared to only 38 per cent of men. With the ease of staying in touch online, a fifth (21 per cent) of Brits would actually cancel a social engagement if it meant missing their favourite programme. Fuelling this technological revolution is the increasing amount of hardware people have access to. Other devices used while watching TV include a laptop (57 per cent), a desktop computer (23 per cent) and an internet enabled smart phone (19 per cent).
In fact, two thirds (63 per cent) would like for their TV to access the Internet so that they can find more information on the shows they’re watching, shop online and use social networking sites.
The year’s biggest TV events have seen conversation go online worldwide. While X Factor attracted over 11 Tweets per second, last year’s Strictly Come Dancing drove almost 7 Tweets per second and even the more serious UK election debates drove over 29 tweets per second .
Commenting on the research, David McKeown, Sales & Marketing at Intel UK & Ireland, said: “It seems we are becoming a nation of armchair pundits, sitting watching TV with laptops at the ready so we can share our own commentary and opinions with friends and family whilst watching popular TV through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The rise of event TV is really fuelling this trend, especially for women who are talking about shows like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. This clearly demonstrates an appetite from consumers to have Internet connectivity whilst watching TV. Smart TV – a technological revolution will change the way we view TV forever. It will not only become more interactive and responsive, but it will make TV an even more social experience.”