The brainchild of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is touted as ‘the love child of live TV and Twitter’. Twelevision is an app that collects the conversations that are happening in real-time on Twitter about free-to-air TV shows in Australia and churns them out to iPhone and iPad in a slick, intuitive way.
There are Australian TV shows that have developed a cult following on Twitter. One of these is Q & A, a show that gets politicians and industry specialists to tackle the week’s hot topics. There is interaction from the live studio audience, but there is also interaction from viewers who tweet during the show with the #qanda hashtag. Tweets may appear on the screen and many of the questions asked via Twitter are often addressed. Interactive, live TV at its best.
Then there are the programs with less pertinent issues to address. I confess – I’ve jumped on the #masterchef bandwagon and enthusiastically given my two (or three) cents. I share my thoughts about #mcgyver’s mullet on a weekly basis and although haven’t yet jumped on the #farmerwantsawife bandwagon, no doubt I will soon succumb.
My first question about this app was: How is it different from just searching for a show’s hashtag on the official Twitter app? Twelevision presents Australian channels on one page and tells you what is currently showing on each. You then select the show you’re watching or want to hear about, and all the tweets about that show appear on the next page. You can immediately respond to tweets, or if you compose a new tweet it’s pre-populated with the hashtag for that program.
There are additional features: one is that you can respond to other peoples’ tweets with ‘Response Stickers’ – a collection of 8 stylised emoticons that allow you to share your opinions quickly. Also, similar to other mobile apps, badges are awarded for various achievements. Is this enough to keep me on the app? I’m not yet convinced.
Without a doubt, the advertising agency that created the app did so in order to fulfil some of their own business goals – it’s impressive to clients and has the power to collect excellent statistics on viewer behaviour. Very smart on all accounts.
There are some frustrations – for example, if you’re watching the Today show in the morning, the hashtag #today picks up a lot of unrelated tweets, including ones in other locations. Mainstream hashtags alone may not be enough for the back-end search system – it would be great if the app could pick up alternative hashtags too. I’ve also had a few server connection issues but these may have been coincidental during the time I’ve taken to review the app. Twelevision has its limitations, but for an app that’s yet to peak its got a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses and transforms live TV interactivity even further.