Now that watching television has become more of a social experience, it’s no surprise that Twitter and TV are becoming more entwined. Following the introduction of its TV ad targeting product, the company now appears to be testing a new way of bringing even more TV content and traffic to its platform.
In the current test, links to popular TV shows appear as Twitter cards at the top of Timeline, including related tweet data and show information. The cards themselves link to pages dedicated to the program with additional information and tweets.
Twitter user ASG — who appears to have been included on a limited test — told TechCrunch that he could only see the new feature on his iOS app. “Once you refresh, the trending box shows up,” he said. “However, when you start scrolling the box flows down with your timeline. Over time, or when an insane number of tweets come out about the show, the box goes back to the top.”
Should the test be rolled out more widely, it wouldn’t be the first time that a new window appears at the top of the timeline. Currently members occasionally see a prompt to link Twitter and Facebook accounts, and although they can be dismissed. they come back after refreshes. The only downside to the test is the small space available on mobile screens.
The company’s choice to test this on mobile before desktop might seem strange, but consider how people interact with social media while watching television. In March, Nielsen revealed that 40 percent of American smartphone and tablet owners log onto a social network when watching television, while 80 percent of those who watch TV use their devices while channel-surfing “several times a month.”
Hashtags and Twitter handles are now prevalent in many TV spots, so it makes sense to bring TV spots to Twitter. The company’s latest ad product — Twitter Amplify — helps marketers do just that. In fact, early results showed that the impact of television ads was significantly greater when paired with Twitter than when used alone. If consumers react well to addition of a new window, this could be a huge boost for advertisers.