American television shows have begun adding permanent Twitter #hashtags on screen throughout their broadcast.
At the right hand corner at the bottom of the screen during a recent Bones episode, #bones was visible.
#glee was also broadcast throught an episode of Glee. Fringe and Christian Slater’s new comedy Breaking In also added hashtags. All of them are FOX shows.
FOX marketing president Joe Earley has told TV Guide, “We’ve noticed shows like Glee and Idol trend while the show is on, but fans often use different hashtags.
“We thought if we provided the official hashtags, then more posts would aggregate.”
Social networking is increasingly being seen as a saviour to Free to Air television, by encouraging viewers to watch live and participate in mass discussions. How ironic given that online audiences have long been viewed as undermining Free to Air.
NBC is even launching NBC Live, a whole site devoted to promoting its shows via social media, while CBS just held its own “Tweet Week” devoted to its shows.
Most international editions of shows such as Glee and Bones are delivered “clutter free” to other markets, so it’s unlikely we’ll have to endure these hashtags, but as we know American trends are often picked up here at one point or another.
Watch this #hashtag space?