Sunday, 17 May 2009

Eurovision and Twitter - #Eurovision the ultimate in social TV?

Last night around 200 million people across Europe tuned in to the Eurovision Song Contest - but this year they tuned into Twitter too.

Eurovision Twitter trendsEurovision dominating Twitter Trending Topics

Everyone has an opinion of Eurovision and last night Twitter was alive as people expressed them. By the end of the Eurovision contest eight of the ten trending topics on Twitter were Eurovision related!

To get a sense of the volumes of Eurovision related tweets, I opened Twitter Search at the beginning of the Eurovision show and then left it open throughout (Twitter Search shows you how many tweets have been made since your search and this number keeps updating in real time.) There were an amazing amount of Eurovision tweets being made - though it would appear that '118,346 more results since you started searching' is the limit as nothing updated after this:

Eurovision Twitter Search numbersEurovision on Twitter Search

I have also used a free Twitter tool, Twist, to quantify the Twitter buzz around the word 'Eurovision':

Eurovision Twitter statistics - Twist'Eurovision' on Twist

According to Twist, on Sat May 16th at 2130 9.95% of every 100,000 tweets contained the word 'Eurovision'! And it was fun to use Twitter during the Eurovision show, allowing debate with friends and the ability to follow alternative commentators too:

Eurovision friend discussionDebating Eurovision on Twitter with friends

Eurovision Wossy commentWossy adds his Eurovision thoughts to Twitter

The rich stream of Twitter commentary more compelling than the 'text in your thoughts' stream that the BBC had running on screen and Twitter updated far more frequently.

We have seen events start to be socialised in real time through social media platforms with the CNN / Facebook integration around Obama being the best example of an official tie up to date. However, Eurovision did not promote a Twitter hashtag or encourage viewers to take to Twitter, the public worked this out for themselves. The Twitter noise around Eurovision shows that the that communities can self-organise and will use social tools, whether encouraged to or not.

This presents a huge opportunity (and a huge challenge) for broadcasters. An opportunity to make programming more inclusive (particularly around live events), but also the need to ensure that effective moderation procedures are in place to prevent issues (you can't just run an unmoderated Twitter feed around a family show - look at what happened to the unmoderated Telegraph Budget Twitter stream.......)

However, Eurovision dominated the trending topics on Twitter, and whilst the proportion of the 200m Eurovision audience who were Twittering was tiny, it does show the potential for TV broadcasts to become more interactive and engaging - social TV is arriving!

Related posts
Eurovision Predictor tool - Google gets it right!
Social TV - Facebook and CNN combine for Obama
#primeval - ITV's Twitter experiment for start of new series

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1 comment:

Pet Shoppers Palace said...

I never heard of Eurovision, Is it a new way of seeing?