What Happens When Social Media Becomes the New TV? by@annamariasocial

What Happens When Social Media Becomes the New TV?

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Jeff Higgins
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Just when you thought Snapchat had finished flushing itself down the toilet by building a giant yellow ferris wheel as advertising during Cannes this year, Time Warner comes along and slaps their ass with 100 million dollars for ads and original programming.

As publishers, agencies, and broadcast giants Indiana Jones their way through poison darts and nazis to reach the Millennial holy land, live and social platform specific programming is becoming the norm.

Twitter is working into becoming the de facto social sports and news network with its pile of live events such as Tennis, NBA, PGA tour action, and MLB games. They’ve also covered the world, tech, and financial news sector with Bloomberg and Cheddar.

People thought they were losing ground after Amazon acquired the NFL Thursday Night live streaming rights but seem to have forgotten they kept all the rights to replays and gifs giving them all the ammunition they need for highlight shows.

With 16 live stream broadcast partners and counting, Twitter is well in the lead with their demographic for live interactive programming that keeps the conversation moving.


Facebook has been dabbling with its share of programming but is having a rough time finding exactly where they fit into the whole game. Random MLS soccer matches and the rarely exciting MLB games they’ve been streaming hardly compare to the constant barrage of programming coming out of Twitter. The main draw of having broadcasts in the social feed besides advertising is the constant conversation from users.

Sure it’s usually a dumpster fire and the highest engaged comments on Facebook seem to be “Stop doing frowny faces!” that are hit with four thousand other frowny faces but it’s still real people interacting in real time during a broadcast or live sporting event.


Now Snapchat’s moving in and we have to think to ourselves, “At what point do we stop calling it TV since we’re never watching it on a TV?”

Time Warner brings with it a whole slew of programming and advertising options which might even give users on Snapchat VIP access to some HBO content. The deal will have their scripted shows bumping up from one to three a day and have the star power to really entice advertising from brands reaching for that specific demographic.

What everyone tends to forget is that close to 80% of shows fail after their first season and never get renewed for a second. That’s the issue moving forward for all the broadcast companies moving over to social media. If you only have three programs, does that mean the only one left will be half decent?

The next hurdle is the younger attention span and mindset that changes very quickly. These new programming options either need to be self contained one offs or between seven to ten minute episodes which now causes issues for advertisers in a smaller time frame.


Either way, get ready for your Snapchat Discover to switch into the new SnapGuide and let’s see if these programs actually have what it takes to resonate with a very particular, very advertiser conscious audience.

It has to take a turn for the better after all the continuous bad decisions and poor planning so far right?


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