Turn off the Lights

Is live-tweeting hurting or helping your favorite show?

Every year social media gets more and more involved in everyday life. Users are constantly checking their phones for updates. Social media sites like Twitter are even used as a source of news. And, in the case of Twitter, it is also being used as a marketing tool. Now many celebrities are using Twitter to live-tweet their shows, but is it helping or hurting ratings?  

Pros of Live-Tweeting

shielf There are many shows that have some kind of live-tweeting set-up. One such example is  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They often have the main cast in a room together tweeting along with the show and even posting pictures. The main benefit of this is that they are engaging with viewers and helping encourage a greater conversation. They even often get hashtags for the show to trend. As a fan, I think it’s fun to see cast members excited about their show and engage with their fandoms. It’s a great way to find other fans and learn about behind the scenes information, but there’s also a downside.

Cons of Live-Tweeting

levi The bottom line is that tweeting doesn’t necessarily increase ratings and there is no tangible reward for getting your show to trend on Twitter. There is no way to prove that the people tweeting are even watching the show, or if they are just trying to provoke responses. Another huge downside is that tweeting or constantly refreshing Twitter can actually be a distraction from the show itself. It is easy to miss something or find yourself completely zoned in on your phone. Even though you are talking about the show, you aren’t really enjoying the medium. Many stars, like Zachary Levi from Heroes Reborn, have even been vocal about not tweeting during their shows, but there are still shows who insist every star must be online.


There is no real data to show a positive or negative correlation between live-tweeting and a show getting renewed. For example, Mad Men never had its cast live-tweet an episode, but still managed to be a successful show, while the Marry Me cast live-tweeted every episode last spring, but were unable to get a second season. Live-tweeting is a fun way to interact with show creators, but the success of a series comes down to a show actually being good and appealing to an audience- not a group of Twitter users. Twitter popularity just can’t improve the quality of a show. I do, however, think it is important for shows to have a Twitter presence, but live-tweeting is unnecessary for success.


It’s really up to you as the viewer whether or not you want to tweet during your favorite show. I personally will only live-tweet certain shows that don't need as much attention or I ones don't care as much about, like Pretty Little Liars. Just realize that your tweets aren’t really helping the show get better ratings. And as a general rule of thumb, if you can’t watch your favorite show live, it’s best to avoid Twitter altogether or at least don’t follow show accounts. Spoilers are a real concern with live-tweeting. If you want to get the most out of a show, considering putting the phone down, for an hour or tweet your thoughts during commercials. What do you think about live-tweeting shows? Do you login while watching your favorite show?


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