Dan Rose, VP of partnerships at Facebook, has suggested that social media and second-screen interaction is having a positive effect on TV viewing.
Delivering a ‘Media Mastermind’ keynote address at MIPCOM, Rose suggested that a few years ago, when social media interacted with television, it was considered a really big deal. “Today, as you all know, the intersection of social media and television is a given. Nowadays, it’s hard to look at the channels without seeing social media integration everywhere you look,” he observed. “Social media has truly become an inseparable part of the television experience. Everywhere you look, you see Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being integrated into the television broadcast.”
Noting the television industry’s involvement in technological innovation, he said: “I suggest that social media integration is the latest such advance. TV has always been a deeply social activity we love to watch TV with other people around us, because the medium itself lends itself to being a shared experience. We also make choices about which shows to watch based on recommendations-from our friends,” he noted, adding that before he invested thirty or sixty minutes of his life, he wanted to hear from someone he trusted that it was going to be a worthwhile experience. “When the show ends, we talk about it with family and friends. It’s always been the same, but obviously the technology has changed. Just as the flat screen has changed the we we watch TV, the second screen has changed the way we talk about TV.”
Harking back to the the early days of the Internet, when some people were predicting that consumers would go online instead of watching TV, he suggested that it had actually turned out that people were going online while they watch TV. “And what are we all doing on these devices while we watch TV? We’re doing what we’ve always done – talking to our friends.”
In a European context, he suggested that the ‘machine à café’ was the water-cooler equivalent facilitating such conversations, but that mobile devices were bringing such discussions forward. “I can have those conversations with my friends, family, co-workers as the show is actually happening.” Accordingly, he suggested that this was enabling conversations about TV to be held with greater intensity and engagement than ever before. “Now, instead of calling my friends to make sure they are watching the news about the Royal Baby, I post to Facebook, and make sure my friends are tuned in. And this is the ultimate irony: the second screen, instead of drawing people away from TV, is pushing people towards TV.”