Twitter: “Live tweeting is the way to build interaction”

Dan Biddle, head of broadcast partnerships at Twitter UK

Dan Biddle, head of broadcast partnerships at Twitter UK

Dan Biddle, head of broadcast partnerships at Twitter UK, on the enduring appeal of social TV, the types of content most likely to get people talking, and the massive impact that live tweeting shows can have on audience interaction.

Dan will be speaking at the TV Connect 2013 event taking place in London on 19-21 March 2013. For more information and to register, please visit

Is Social TV here to stay?

Social TV has been here since television began broadcasting – as long as people watch TV shows, there will be people talking about TV shows. TV is a constant source of remarkable content – now we can see the remarks in the millions every day on Twitter.

What benefits does it bring to TV operators and broadcasters?

In addition to the beneficial nature of Twitter as the social EPG – that moment when you look at Twitter and realise you’re missing The Apprentice – the Twitter conversation around TV shows gives producers and broadcasters unprecedented insight into the mood and opinions of their audiences – the attention points, the sweet-spots, the unexpected reactions to their shows.

And, as well as listening and learning, the smart operators are joining that conversation, adding value, building loyalty and extending reach. Even more we see broadcasters starting to innovate with Twitter – really activate the engaged audience and take the opportunities to the next level.

What content types do you think work particularly well here?

Images, videos, exclusive insights, preview clips and fun (don’t forget the fun!). The aim is activation – get people talking before the show (get that social EPG working for you); get people tweeting during the show – interacting with the show, even creating content for the show where possible with creative calls to action and live hashtag polling.

Also – get the talent on Twitter! Live tweeting shows is the way to build audience interaction. Twitter is like the world’s biggest sofa – we’re all watching these shows together on Twitter – and if I can lean over and see the director or the star of the show’s watching and chatting with me – well that’s a whole new level of awesome.

What are you particularly excited about for 2013?

2013 is going to be an amazing year for innovation and engagement in television. It has to be. 2012 broadcasters were spoilt for events: Big Football, Big Olympics, Big Jubilee… 2013 is an empty calendar in comparison.

But that also means it’s a beautiful, blank slate for creative programmers: if 2012 was the year of the spectacle, 2013 is the year of the audience.


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