I once had someone ask me: what’s the point of liveblogging and livetweeting a show? After all, wouldn’t constantly turning to my laptop screen or phone distract me from what I was trying to watch in the first place?
I can’t really describe why I enjoy tweeting about something as I watch it, but I know I’m not the only one--the connection between Twitter and television is a well-documented one, and Twitter is taking full advantage of this fact with it’s new TV Trending feature.
First, reports of this new feature came on Tuesday, August 13th from Twitter-user @ASG, who also provided screenshots of these cards and offered a description of how they work:
“Once you refresh, the trending box shows up… However, when you start scrolling the box flows down with your timeline. Over time, or when an insane number of tweets come out about the show, the box goes back to the top.”
The new Twitter feature, which is currently only being tested on a select few on the iOS app, is described as being a series of cards at the top of your Twitter timeline. Each card contains information about the particular program, including links to pages about the related show. To make tweeting about the program even easier, all you have to do is hit the compose button after having selected a show and your tweet will automatically contain related hashtags.
So what does this all mean?
For television audiences that frequent Twitter as a way to pass along news and discuss their favourite shows, this feature will be a huge benefit. Based on the description, it sounds like a really quick and convenient way to access and share information. One click, and your tweets can be set to focus on America’s Got Talent or Dancing With the Stars.
Of course, if your favourite program isn’t trendy enough to make it into the cards, this change will be virtually meaningless. Your Twitter/TV experience won’t change unless the TV card selection is expanded.
The TV trending feature is also an improvement for the people working to promote the TV shows in the first place. It will make tweets about a particular program easier to keep track of, and can add more audience information, as the conventional rating system becomes more and more obsolete in the face of online viewing. However, this once again only applied to the trending TV shows.
Finally, there’s the matter of the existing TV apps that could potentially suffer from this new development. GetGlue, for example, partially uses Twitter as a way to encourage discussion based around specific television programs. If Twitter makes it so much easier to talk about popular entertainment without having to even open another browser tab, a huge part of GetGlue’s purpose will be rendered useless.
How do you use Twitter to enhance your TV viewing habits? Do you think this new feature will change how people talk about television on Twitter, or is it destined to be cancelled faster than Joss Whedon’s Firefly?
Let me know in the comments below!