In August, Twitter began testing a new way of bringing even more television content and traffic to its platform through the addition of trending TV show banners. Although limited to a small test group since then, the company rolled out support for the feature to everyone in its latest mobile update. So why should brands care? It’s simple: exposure.

Watching television has undoubtedly become more of a social experience, and businesses have wasted no time in figuring out how to capitalize on the integration. Over the summer, Twitter launched Amplify, a service that allows brands and their advertising partners to promote television clips on the social network.

But conversation isn’t just happening around sponsors, but rather the television shows themselves and even commercials. That’s where Twitter’s Trending TV banners come into play. Under the updated Discover tab on mobile, the company is now collating trending TV shows based on an individual’s location.

In addition to creating general awareness for the TV program, the trending banners also include the number of tweets being sent out about it, an image of the show itself, and when/where the program aired. An example shared by Mashable revealed that on Tuesday night, The Voice was the top trending show until it stopped airing at 10pm local time.

Clicking on a trending TV show reveals a collection of tweets around it, just as it would for a trending topic or hashtag. However, they also aggregate conversations across hashtags. For example, tweets mentioning “Chicago Fire,” @ChicagoFireNBC, and #ChicagoFire all appeared.

By extending this experiment, Twitter is not only showing the entertainment industry that it’s a valuable companion to the TV-watching experience, but that the platform is capable of driving advertising opportunities as well as ratings to TV shows. Sources close to the social network told Mashable that the Trending TV update is just the start of more TV-focused Twitter features.

For agencies with entertainment clients, this marks the perfect time to ramp up engagement around television programs on Twitter. Additionally, brands with commercial debuts or trailer sneak-peeks can get in on the conversations easily if you know which time slot your ads are airing.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: Sarah Reid]