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Friday, March 5, 2010

An old dog learns new tweets

Mainstream media was quick to dismiss social media before most of us had heard about Facebook or Twitter. They held the power over information and could care less what someone’s status was. The more the mainstream media struggled to understand social media, the faster the rest of the world embraced the phenomenon.

  • In 2007, Facebook had 12 million active users worldwide; it now has 400 million.
  • In 2007, people sent 5,000 tweets a day, according to Twitter; now there are nearly 50 million a day.

Now with millions of people plugged into social media through laptops and iPhones, social networking sites buzz with activity as friends bash the Bachelor’s decision to propose to Vienna Girardi on Facebook, and sports fans fume over bad plays or referee calls on Twitter. Despite a marked decrease in regularly programmed television ratings, network channels have seen an increase in viewers during live, large-market television events – all thanks to social media.

  • The Grammys drew 26 million viewers on CBS, up from 19 million in 2009.
  • The Golden Globes’ ratings went up 14 percent on NBC.
  • The Super Bowl was the most-watched U.S. television event of all time, drawing 106 million people to CBS.
  • The Olympics on NBC triumphed in the ratings throughout the event; the opening ceremony drew 32.6 million viewers.
  • ABC has sold out all its ad space for this weekend’s Oscars telecast.

There may be some new life in the mainstream media – as long as they switch from the “must see TV” model to the “must tweet TV” model.

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