Facebook is going to announce something new in its wide universe of features enriching the platform. One of the most interesting of them is definitely the possibility to use hashtags, available to all the users since last weeks.
Both Cory Bergman on Lost Remote and Mike Isaac on All Things Digital underline the importance of this Twitter-like new feature. Twitter may aggregate conversations around TV shows, but people are talking about them on Facebook too.
According to the data reported by Nielsen and quoted by Facebook’s Justin Osofsky, 29% of comments on Facebook are about TV shows. The choice to give users an instrument to search, aggregate and spread conversations, could undermine Twitter’s role and change in some way Facebook’s basic characteristic.
You will no longer just stay in touch with people in your life. You will get in touch with people sharing your same passion in a brand new horizontal way, different from the simple comments posted on a fan page or your profile statuses.
This also mean that people will modify their behavior: did the effectiveness of Twitter in commenting TV shows just lie in syntax or is it a matter of short, fast and immediate language?
I guess it is the latter. However, it does not mean the hashtag feature is going to be useless for Facebook: if it is true that people use Facebook to search info about TV shows, aggregating contents around hashtags can make research activity more efficient.
A recent survey from Sport Network Media confirmed that users use Social channels to find news, info and more about their favorite games and teams.
Nielsen showed that mobile devices are, in particular, assuming an even more central position in our daily TV-related contents consumption.
According to their data, 46% of smartphone owners and 43% of tablet ones use devices as second screen while watching TV. And they do it every day.
Users behavior demonstrates that the experience of watching is definitely no longer separated from other activities on a second screen. The question is: which kind of activities?
Last week, TOK Baseball was featured on SportTechie, and as our CEO Fabrizio said in the interview with Taylor Bloom:
Watching sports on TV alone is quite sad. We love sports and we were searching for a brand new way to share the emotions of watching a game with friends, even if they are far away. We wanted to keep the fun of shouting “home run,” instead of being forced to type it on Twitter or Facebook. We found voice is the best way to share emotions and connect people, making them feel close, and recreating a living room-like experience.
We believe that people watching television want to relax, first of all. They do not want to work in front of the TV.
Also, last week we launched TOK Baseball for iPhone, giving our users the possibility to live the TOK experience on their favorite device.
There is mobile device and mobile device, though. As Fabrizio wrote on his blog:
We have no clue how people are going to use our app on a smartphone. It is not a tablet, it is really a mobile device. Are you going to use it on the couch as the tablet app? Or on the go? At the ballpark? On the train? Even when there is no TV? Is a second screen app on a smartphone a mobile app or a couch app?
We would love to hear from you about that. Results collected up to last month (see below) are really encouraging.
Language, platforms, social channels can facilitate second screen interaction but the activity per se always answers to a single need: having fun while watching something on TV.
In the meanwhile, every feedback on our apps is welcome!
Keep having fun with TOK Baseball!