NI 'chatterboxes' a growing phenomenon

Published Thursday, 15 March 2012
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More people than ever are using social media to enhance their television viewing - by chatting online about the programmes they're watching on the box.

NI 'chatterboxes' a growing phenomenon
More people in Northern Ireland are becoming social network 'chatterboxes'. (© Twitter)

The latest research on TV viewing habits shows that one third of viewers in Northern Ireland multi-task to take advantage of ever-improving technology, like smartphones and iPads.

While some tellyaddicts may spend up to 32 hours a week in front of the screen, they can't be accused of being anti-social as they're increasingly interested in what others have to say about the shows they're engrossed in.

The online buzz around popular shows - like the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent - can easily been seen, with topics relating to them often trending on Twitter while the programmes are on air.

Adults in Northern Ireland are more likely to take to social media networks to express their views on live programming than their counterparts in England, Scotland or Wales - almost one third (31%) have done so, compared with the UK average of 26%.

While live viewing is still hugely dominant, a growing number of people (6.75%) created their own schedules last year using services like catch-up TV.

But according to Thursday's report, social media is boosting the popularity of live programming - 46% of young adults prefer it because they enjoy following the online comments by other viewers.

One in five said it enhanced their TV viewing experience.

"This report points to the fact that people are taking advantage of new technologies to ensure they can enjoy TV in more ways than ever before - whether watching on bigger sets at home, via mobile technologies on the go, or on catch-up," Deborah King, TV licensing spokesperson for Northern Ireland, said.

"And, of course, the chatterboxing phenomenon is bringing a new dimension to TV as a collective, social experience."

© UTV News
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