Social Media and Reality TV

taracb    October 21, 2012

Organization Name: ABC’s The Glass House

Web References:

Social TV

ABC The Glass House

According to a recent survey by Viacom, 56% of viewers are using social media while watching TV. They are communicating on blogs, facebook, twitter and apps and the Networks are recognizing the benefits of these engagements.

Shows like, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and The Glass House are using Social Media as a way for viewers to not only engage online, but help determine the winners or outcome of the upcoming episodes.

ABC’s The Glass House is a reality game show that premiered in June 2012. Fourteen contestants lived in a glass house with cameras capturing their every move while they competed for the grand prize of $250,000. Viewers were able to watch live feeds online and vote which contestants they wanted eliminated. Viewers were also able to control what the contestants wore, what they ate and where they slept. Viewers were also able to ask questions through social media that the contestants answered during live feeds. Viewers were also able to control how the contestants interacted daily, such as speaking in a British accent or only walking backwards for 24 hours.

ABC allowed viewers to interact through social media and create the reality competition show that they wanted to see. Viewers had the complete control over the development and design of ABC’s The Glass House.

Many television networks have started using Social Media as a way to engage with their viewers, to encourage discussion and increase popularity. Many TV shows now display a hashtag, Facebook page or Twitter account at some point during the show, encouraging those 56% of viewers that are using Social Media during the broadcast to get involved online. Shows, like The Glass House have provided viewers the ability to develop and control their own TV show with the use of Social Media, as if they were ABC’s program writers and developers.

Submitted By: Tara Busse, SMBP, University of Waterloo

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