Fox TV are getting bitten by the Twitter bug. Mashable reported on Friday how the US broadcaster included Twitter integration during two of their prime time shows, Fringe and Glee. Twitter users talkihg about the show were able to interact in real-time with each other on-screen during the shows. However, the interface obscured a third of the screen and many angry viewers switched off – Fox didn’t provide an option to remove the new added extra.
Fox have blogged and said they will be making changes to the on-screen graphics, which will hopefully be less intrusive.
Initial reaction to the experiment was, to say the least, a bit negative…
One commenter said: the Twitter pop-ups were the “most annoying thing I have ever seen.”
Crunchgear said: Fox decided that it would be hip to superimpose a Twitter feed on top of the picture. Well, the Internet has spoken and no one likes it.
And the comments on Marketing Pilgrim were in very much the same manner:
“I hated every second, and am about to stop watching a show I love. It was NOT at the bottom of the screen, it took up half the screen, never ended. It must include a way to stop it or I will stop watching FOX altogether.”
“I have just changed channels. Twitter on fringe was just too much to take. I have never seen anything quite so distracting and irritating. It covered two third of the bottom of my High definition image and made it unwatchable. Too bad, fringe was an interesting show. What are you guys thinking !!”
The experiment itself is interesting – look at how the Twitter community comes together over Madmen, or the Formula One for example, and you can see why Fox thought that this is a good idea.
What they didn’t account for was the large proportion of people who watch the show who aren’t on Twitter, a classic shiny object syndrome mistake.
Fox need to implement a method of turning Twitter updates off, and making a better user experience – if these two things can be done, I don’t see any reason to stop this little experiment growing – imagine watching an England match and seeing tweets from fellow supporters for example.
It’s a neat idea, and i’ll be interested to see if any UK broadcasters begin to look into something similar.