Welcome to the era of the second screen.
It’s not referring to having a second tv in your home, it’s all about how we interact with the screen that’s in front of us. More often than not, we’re doing it with a second screen.
We have two monitors on our desktop. We have a laptop open and a phone beside it. We are on the couch watching tv and pecking away on a notebook, tablet, or phone. They are all second screen scenarios that are more present in our lives.
A recent Nielsen study found that around 1/4 of smartphone and tablet owners check their device several times a day while watching TV. Nearly half check it at least once a day while watching TV.
A hashtag is a pound simple followed by a word or phrase. Hashtags help curate the content on social media. If you just want to follow one conversation, you can click on the hashtag and get all tweets using that one phrase in one spot. So for global conversations around award shows, sporting events, or tv episodes, it can feel like you’re talking about the show with hundreds, or thousands of other people.
The first time it was noted to have been used was during the Comedy Central roast of Donald Trump. Now many shows now flash hashtags on the screen during a show. You’ll see #Glee, #MadMen, or #SharkWeek in the bottom left hand corner. Survivor takes it a step further, suggesting hashtags throughout the show. #challenge or #tribal will pop up on the screen as the teams move from scene to scene.
APPS TO USE WHEN WATCHING TV WITH A SECOND SCREEN
Twitter would be the grand daddy of apps to use when watching tv with a second screen. Hashtagging makes it easy to find who is talking about what, and the stream flies by making it easy to follow.
Get Glue is a check-in and loyalty app that works in the same way as Foursquare, but for tv. You check in that you’re watching a show, can see what other friends are watching the same thing and can collect stickers and points.
Into Now acts as a combination of social interaction and a ‘dvd extras’ list of bonus entertainment. This app from Yahoo! pulls in Facebook and Twitter conversations and then adds extra information.
USING THE SECOND SCREEN AS YOUR FIRST SCREEN
The apps put out by broadcasters now are great. There are so many first run shows that are being streamed that it’s almost like having a cable subscription for the cost of internet. You don’t need a PVR, they’re all right there on the app.
The Global TV App is a great example of how you can watch your favorite shows at any time.
A word of warning: video takes up big chunks of data, so if you’re into watching tv while riding the CTrain, just know you might end up with big data charges each month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride the WiFi at home.
APP OF THE WEEK: The Ultimate Disaster Kit
Something interesting happened this week with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy back east that showed where people’s priorities really are. The top downloaded free apps this week were YouTube, Flashlight, and The Red Cross. If the disaster has had you thinking about your own disaster readiness kit, make sure you have them because you never know when you’ll need a flashlight, medical advice, and videos of cats re-enacting Star Wars.