By: Jenn Inzetta
Every night social media users sit down to watch television. But they are not watching it passively. They are watching it actively, commenting on their favorite parts, tweeting their thoughts, and discussing the details with friends and followers.
This past season, every Monday night @Maybelline offered her commentary on Gossip Girl. @DKNY routinely tweeted during Revenge’s first season. @urbaniteproblem offered her thoughts on @TheBachelor as she watched the reality TV show unfold. American Idol contestants are now offered fan feedback moments after they perform. Hash tags are placed in the bottom right corner of the screen during prime time television, urging users to become a part of the online conversation.
Entertainment, and TV in particular, is becoming increasingly participatory. Social TV is on the rise, and major corporations and startups alike are hoping to become the social network that is able to cut through the clutter, and capitalize on this new phenomenon. As the “second screen” trend (a term used to describe the growing number of people watching TV while on a laptop, phone, or iPad) becomes more and more commonplace more users are searching for ways to interact with others while they watch their favorite TV show. They want to share in the suspense, critique the bad choices, and enjoy the excitement with others. They want to participate in social TV.
A number of companies have created apps tailored for social TV. But my personal favorite is GetGlue. GetGlue is a social networking site for entertainment that allows users to check-in when they are reading a book, listening to a song, watching a movie, or watching a TV show. As Adweek explains it, “It’s foursquare for entertainment.” For each check-in individuals are rewarded with virtual stickers that can be displayed on their GetGlue profile site or their own blog. With every 20 stickers users earn, GetGlue sends them real versions of those stickers.
When GetGlue was first founded in 2008 the service was focused on recommending new entertainment options to users based on what they already watched, read, and listened to. In 2009, they expanded to check-ins, but it was not until the service began to focus on mobile apps that they truly gained traction.
GetGlue is solely an entertainment social network, controlled and curated by the users.
Once users check-in they have the option to join in on the conversation. Each show, book, or movie has its own page where friends and fans can discuss them. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, there is no character limit for what can be posted, and the conversation is always on topic. There is no need to scroll through a feed of unrelated topics. Everyone on that page is discussing the exact same thing, and can continue to do so even when the show has ended. Users choose what they want to talk about it and when they want to talk about it.
It is personalized engagement, but more importantly it is the long tail model at its best. GetGlue is capitalizing on small communities of individuals brought together by shared passions. GetGlue provides a way for fans to come together and share those interests. And it is those same fans that power GetGlue. Fans, sharing their check-ins, their badges, and their conversations on other social networks essentially do the marketing for the entertainment industries. Social TV creates buzz around new shows or movies, and gets people talking, providing free word of mouth marketing. And that is social media at its best.
How do you incorporate social media into your daily entertainment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!