NEWS23 April 2014

Tumblr is tops for lasting TV conversation, says Pulsar

Data analytics News UK

UK — Where should you go on social media when you want to talk about a TV show? If you’re looking for live interaction with other fans, Twitter’s your best bet. But if you want deep, lasting conversations, head to Tumblr.

That’s according to a new study by Pulsar, the social data analysis platform developed by Face Group. Pulsar took five TV series – Sherlock, Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, Sleepy Hollow, and Malcolm in the Middle – and tracked discussions around the shows for 11 days; before, during and after key episodes in autumn 2013.

What Pulsar found was that people talked about the selected shows more on Tumblr than on any other social network: 7.3 million posts (including reblogs) in the period studied, compared with 3.1 million posts (and retweets) on Twitter.

While Twitter leads discussion in the hour that the shows airs – generating 621,000 posts versus Tumblr’s 91,000 posts – as soon as the shows finish, Twitter activity falls off, whereas conversation on Tumblr grows. The study found that, one hour after airtime, there is 31% more activity on Tumblr than when the show is live. The platform grows to become the lead channel for programme discussion two hours after airtime.



Pulsar’s study noted a different type of interaction around TV content on Tumblr versus Twitter. Whereas the latter caters for the sharing of opinions, 71% of Tumblr TV interactions are driven by behaviours related to storytelling, content remixing and creativity, as well as fan community dialogue.

Animated GIFs of key scenes within episodes are particularly popular, Pulsar says: 41% of discussion about TV shows is made up of animated GIFs, but they make 62% of the most-shared posts.

Francesco D’Orazio, product vice-president at Pulsar, said: “The Social TV on Tumblr study shows very clearly that different social networks are for different kinds of social TV interaction. One of the key findings here is that Social TV, especially on Tumblr, doesn’t just mean real-time second screen behaviour but sustained and deep audience engagement over time. And that represents a massive opportunity for networks and advertisers.”


1 Comment

10 years ago

As Malcolm in the Middle finished seven years ago, is the sustained conversation around the repeated episode? Or is it just evidence of everyday fandoms on Tumbr? Isn't this self-selecting and too narrow a list of programmes? Who commissioned the research?

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