Twitter and texting while TV watching on the rise

Twitter and TV - match made in heaven?
Twitter and TV - match made in heaven?

The number of people using the internet while watching television is on the rise, with a new study showing that 40 per cent of 18-24 year olds browse social networking sites while watching TV.

It used to be that the only multi-tasking you would do while the telly was on was dunking biscuits in your tea, but a study by YouGov which took in information from over 2,000 people found that the youth of today have no qualms about using Twitter and the like while actively watching a show.

YouGov is calling this 'media stacking' and it has revealed that 86 per cent of those asked (with the 18-24 age group) have chatted about a show through digital channels while watching the programme on TV.

It seems that 56 per cent will text while watching TV and 55 per cent will use Facebook and other social networking sites to comment on a show.

Leaning back, going forward

It's definitely something which is gaining prominence. Social-networking sites are awash with comments when shows like Big Brother are on and TV manufacturers are getting savvy the consumers want things like Twitter through their TV.

The YouGov poll also shows that consumers want their shows to be more interactive, with a third of all viewers wanting to be able to vote for things like X-Factor online and see the results on screen.

Ivan Ristic, Director at Diffusion, who worked with YouGov on the study, said about the results: "The old adage that TV is a lean back experience compared to lean forward web surfing no longer hold true, our research shows that increasingly people are doing both simultaneously.

"The challenge for the TV industry is how best to take advantage of this trend to drive word-of-mouth buzz around programming, build a more loyal user base and identify new advertising and revenue opportunities."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.