The SocialTV Facebook app is designed to complement Discovery’s programming by offering extra information about its shows. It will also invite viewers to post messages about Discovery’s programmes via Facebook or Twitter, for the chance for their posts to appear on air.
On average, two to four messages posted on Facebook or Twitter will be published on air each episode.
The app was first piloted in Latin America on Discovery Home & Health’s “Say Yes to the Dress” fashion series. The audience was able to contact the programme’s fashion experts about the on air content and also other relevant topics they wanted advice on.
Following the trial, SocialTV will now roll out across Discovery Networks’ portfolio of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in the UK, Brazil, Germany and Italy.
Danny Bolivar, director of social media at Discovery Networks International, says the app differs from other social experiences because the conversation “does not take place in isolation”.
“We are literally conversing with our viewers to make sure their television experience is relevant, with the idea in the future of allowing our brands to speak with the on-air talent as well,” he adds.
The app taps into the growing trend of multi-screening. In the UK, 86% of people with access to the TV and the internet have used both concurrently, whilst 34% claim to multi-screen regularly, according to a study from COG Research commissioned by TV marketing body Thinkbox.
Earlier this year Sky recognised the opportunity second screening can offer and took a 10% stake in social TV start-up Zeebox.