Evolution of the Second Screen

As social media platforms continue to evolve, so do our ways of integrating these platforms evolve. One of the most unique and interactive of these integrations is the second screen – a companion device like a tablet or smartphone that allows for an audience to interact with the content they are consuming elsewhere, like on television or a movie.

As tablet and smartphone usage increases, so does second screen usage. It acts as a type of supplemental TV-watching experience.

For example, people use the second screen to engage with sports and entertainment. Quarterback makes a rookie mistake? Post it on Facebook.

Kim Kardashian embarrasses herself in an interview? Tweet about it.

Chef Gordon Ramsay pulls out a rare, enticing cooking ingredient? Look it up and post it on Pinterest.

An Olympic moment in social media occurred during last year’s Olympics which was the first major event to showcase the extent of second screen usage thanks due in part to its very own Android and iOS apps, which let users catch live streams, access statistics, and more without ever having to leave their couch.

Discussing sports during the game through platforms like Facebook and Twitter has increased so much in the last year that now, 85% of tablet and smartphone users use their second screen monthly and 40% do so daily.

Nielsen’s 2012 social media report highlights fascinating statistics: People are not just talking up and discussing the newest quarterback on their favorite team or the latest pop star drama, they’re shopping and looking up program and product info while they watch TV.

In June of 2012, one-third of active Twitter users tweeted about TV-related content, an increase of 27% from the beginning of 2012. One can only expect this number to sharply increase by June 2013. This prediction is easily made by considering the rise of second screen apps being developed.

These second screen software applications synchronize onscreen action with supplementary information such as behind-the-scenes footage, costume design information, location details, games, and more.

User-demand and experience continue to drive the evolution of technology through engagement and interaction. Where do you see the second screen experience next?

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