Almost Half of All British Using Social Media While Watching TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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With the rise of 'event TV' like X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and sporting events, more and more British viewers are using social networks and instant messaging to chat to friends as the events unfold according to research from Intel has found that almost half of (45%) Brits have admitted to using sites like Twitter, Facebook and MSN messenger to discuss a TV programme whilst it's on air.

The statistics are stunning and absolutely supports the two screen social media and single screen (eventually) Social TV landscape in the UK.

Surprisingly, it's women who are leading this social change with more than half (51%) of them using the online chat offerings whilst watching TV when compared to only 38% of men. With the ease of staying in touch online, a fifth (21%) 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%), a desktop computer (23%) and an internet enabled smart phone (19%).

In fact, two thirds (63%) 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 world-wide. While X Factor attracted over 11 Tweets per second (11.49), last year's Strictly Come Dancing drove almost 7 Tweets per second (6.67)[i] and even the more serious UK election debates drove over 29 (29.06) tweets per second[ii].

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", David added.

Single screen social media engagement also looks promising from the study as it notes that Smart TVs will enable users to tailor content to their individual needs and interact about latest programmes more socially and immediately. Intel is at the heart of creating the platforms to make this revolution possible by working closely with the likes of Google TV and YouView in the UK.

Smart TV solutions featuring the Intel(R) Atom(TM) processor combine performance, world-class HD video and audio decode and advanced graphics. Intel's vision is to bring personal content, favourite websites and social networks to the TV in a new way.

This independent survey was conducted in August 2010 by RedShift Research on behalf of Intel through an online questionnaire. The respondents were nationally-representative of the adult population. The breakdown of the 7,012 respondents by region is: France (1,007), Germany (994), Italy (1,002), Netherlands (994), Spain (1,000), Sweden (1,002) and UK (1,002).

Other findings include:

- 40% watch TV to spend time with family and friends

- 68% spend more time with the family watching TV than dining together

- 39% find the number of TV channels overwhelming

- 94% watch the same handful of programmes every night

- Almost half (47%) want to watch popular TV shows at the same
time as everyone else

- 57% of online comments posted are in relation to 'event TV'
live sports or reality TV shows like X Factor and Strictly Come



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