71% of Canadians on Twitter tweet while watching TV

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WATCH ABOVE: For many TV viewers, one screen isn't enough. It turns out 71 per cent of Canadians on Twitter use the platform while watching TV. Emily Mertz has more on the findings of research done by Twitter Canada – Sep 5, 2017

Twitter Canada says 71 per cent of Canadians on the platform use it while watching television, which means 8 million people are tweeting while watching their favourite shows.

“Three-quarters of Canadians on Twitter are using their phone while they’re watching TV and they’re doing it with a number of different types of genres of shows,” said Alyson Gausby, lead researcher with Twitter Canada. “It’s not just sports or award shows, but it’s also with news, with dramas, with reality like Big Brother, we see a span across genres.”

Research found that movies and TV combined are of top interest across the country and are tweeted about more often than sports, politics or music.

According to the social media platform:

  • 50% say Twitter makes TV feel more like a shared experience
  • 43% say it makes TV more enjoyable
  • 41% say Twitter makes TV feel more interactive
  • 41% say it helps build anticipation for a show
  • 35% say it helps them decide what to watch
  • 36% say Twitter helps them find new shows

“Twitter is a significant source of discovery for TV shows,” Gausby said. “When we look at the number of TV shows that are out there now, it’s pretty astounding. Sometimes, having that much choice can be a little bit paralyzing. We find that Canadians are turning to Twitter to help them decide what to watch.”

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The company found 33 per cent of Canadian users tweet about shows before they air, 67 per cent use it during the show and 50 per cent do so after.

“They’re using Twitter before a show starts to try to build up excitement and anticipation,” Gausby said. “They’re using it during, which they say makes their experience more enjoyable, it makes it more interactive and it does make it more of a shared experience.

“They’re also using it to… catch up on things they may have missed, see other people’s takes on the latest plot twists and really extend that conversation beyond just the airing window.”

Not surprisingly, the younger demographic tends to tweet while watching TV more often. About 81 per cent of Canadian Twitter users between 18 and 24 years old tweet while watching TV, 72 per cent of users between 35 and 54 do so, and half of those over 55 do.

“People are tweeting in real time as the action is happening,” Gausby said. “They’re not waiting for ad breaks, they’re not waiting for the show to finish, but they’re tweeting about things as they’re seeing them, as they’re happening on the screen.

“There is sort of this sense of community that you don’t need to be beside people in order to have a real conversation about what you’re watching and what’s happening,” she explained.

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The top 20 most-tweeted-about shows are:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Big Brother
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Big Brother Canada
  • Supernatural
  • The Voice
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Once Upon a Time
  • General Hospital
  • Arrow
  • The Flash
  • The Simpsons
  • Teen Wolf
  • The Bachelorette
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • @midnight With Chris Hardwick
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Twitter Canada found the most-tweeted-about shows on Global between April 2016 and May 2017 were:

  • Big Brother
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Big Brother Canada
  • The Simpsons
  • The Young and the Restless
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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