It’s official. The internet has taken over pretty much everything. It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when turning on a television was an amazing feat of technology considering that nowadays we not only switch on our television, but have our laptops on our laps and our iphones in our hands at the same time. But there was a time when the television was a big deal all on its own. However I have been noticing over the past few years that television shows are being infiltrated by the internet bit by bit. Its funny that I almost can’t remember a time now when a newsreader didn’t finish the news by telling viewers to follow them on their personal twitter accounts to keep up to date with the news. Have we gone too far? Does the internet really need to be infiltrating every tv show we watch?
The topic I am specifically looking at this week is the program Fango, which allows people to connect with other people watching the same television shows using either the Fango app, Facebook or Twitter on their computers or mobile phones. Fango allows people to “check in” to shows that they are watching, vote on trivia about the shows and potentially win prizes for being ‘the biggest fan’.
The idea behind Fango is to make watching television an interactive activity that involves the internet, as research undertaken by Yahoo7 demonstrates that a large number of people are using the internet whilst watching tv.
So does Fango actually help increase the number of Tv viewers? According to Yahoo7, yes. 27% of people surveyed said that they have watched a Tv show based on a recommendation from a friend via a social networking site and 26% said that they had been made aware of a Tv show because of something they saw on a social networking site. Therefore it is actually really smart of Tv networks to use this marketing tool to their advantage and encourage people to keep watching their shows on the television so that they can connect with other people, rather than streaming it online by themselves at a later time.
Another way that Tv shows use the internet to interact with their viewers is getting them to post questions onto the television show’s Facebook page or Twitter account and then have the cast or crew respond to them. The critically acclaimed (and one of my personal favourites) television show Breaking Bad is currently in its final season and has become so popular that there is now an entire show dedicated to talking about Breaking Bad! (It is literally called Talking Bad.) The host often sits with a cast member and after discussing the events on the previous nights episode they answer questions that fans have posted to their Twitter account.
I personally haven’t used Fango but I do often follow certain television shows online, read about them on social media sites and even follow certain actors from my favourite shows on Twitter; which proves that I am a part of this television conversation without even realising it and am therefore unwittingly helping the show’s online marketing strategy! Do any of you use Fango or any other app/website to talk about the Tv shows you watch? Or does it annoy you that many programs run a live twitter feed across the bottom of the screen when you are just trying to enjoy your Tv show? Let me know in the comments section!