Twitter wants to get in bed with TV companies, and it is now offering statistics that represent the degree to which tweets influence viewership. A study released by Twitter, FOX, and the Advertising Research Foundation revealed that 92% of respondents have turned on the TV or searched for a program after seeing a tweet related to it.
The study surveyed 12,577 Twitter users about their TV watching habits. 76% of respondents have searched for a show after viewing a tweet about it, 78% have interacted with a tweet about a TV show, and 77% have actually watched TV content after exposure to a relevant tweet. The study also revealed that brands benefit from Twitter mentions; 54% of respondents interacted with a brand in some capacity after reading a tweet about it.
“We wanted to see whether people who are exposed to tweets about primetime TV shows and brands care about the tweets, or if they just look at it and then just move on,” said Judit Nagy, Fox’s VP of analytics. “The level of engagement we found was surprising.”
The study should, however, be taken with a grain of salt. Most obviously, it was commissioned by Twitter and Fox, so shared results are much more likely to trumpet Twitter’s TV influence. The results of the study also do not take into account the number of times users engaged with TV content after interacting with relevant tweets. Since the sample only includes Twitter users, it does not offer any information on the degree to which Twitter has penetrated the general TV-watching audience.
That said, it would be foolish to discredit the results completely. Twitter may not dictate TV habits to the degrees it implies, but “social TV” is undoubtedly an important part of the modern viewing experience.