How young people watch television is rapidly changing according to a study by Digital Clarity of UK mobile Internet users below the age of 25.
Eighty per cent of those surveyed use a mobile device to communicate with friends while watching TV with 72 per cent using Twitter, Facebook or mobile applications to actively comment on shows as they are watching them.
Rather than social networks and television competing for attention it seems that young people are happy to embrace both and use one to enhance their enjoyment of the other.
The study found that 34 per cent described the trend as ‘fun’, 32 per cent said it made television ‘more interesting’ with 42 per cent mentioning the ‘community’ aspect of ‘Social TV’.
The survey discovered that the most common way to communicate is to use Twitter (72 per cent) Facebook was next popular (56 per cent) and mobile applications (34 per cent). Sixty-two per cent of Social TV users like a combination of all three.
Certain shows such as X-Factor, Skins, Glee, as well as soaps Coronation Street and Eastenders are particularly popular in the UK generating very high Twitter traffic and Facebook messages as they are broadcast.
Reggie James, founder of Digital Clarity explains, “Up until 12 months ago, TV was struggling to reach the younger market as more and more channels were becoming available. Social TV has changed this completely by turning programmes into online events where you have to watch them as they happen”.