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Social TV will be a major trend in 2016: Twitter’s Viral Jani

Viral Jani

Viral Jani

From Bigg Boss Season 9 on Colors to Nach Baliye on Star Plus to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and even the Bihar election, Twitter India has it. But no more in the form of text. In the last one year, the social media platform has been quietly pushing social television by allowing broadcasters to upload content in the form of video. With the launch of tools such as Snappy TV, Vine and an app called Periscope, Twitter claims to have created an environment for Indian broadcasters which allows them to look at social media as a partner rather than a threat.

In a conversation with Techcircle.in, Viral Jani, head – television strategy and partnerships, Twitter India, speaks about how social TV has gained popularity in India and is one of the big trends to watch out for in 2016. Edited excerpts:

Social TV allows the union of social media and television. At what stage is social TV in India?

Social TV in India is at a stage where it is gradually moving towards maturity. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among TV networks in India to ride the social media wave through the use of various tools on Twitter. Video tweets generate more conversations. Globally we have seen that the conversation generated by a video tweet is five to six times more vis-a-vis a non-video tweet. Also, in the last 12 months, globally we have seen video consumption go up 150 times.

To what extent are broadcasters using social TV in the entertainment space?

Non-fiction shows such as Bigg Boss 9 Double Trouble on Hindi general entertainment channel Colors, is actually a playbook for us. As the channel continues to use social TV on Twitter efficiently, it also allows us to tick all the checkboxes. For instance, one of our apps called Periscope is used by the broadcaster to live stream the press conference of Bigg Boss 9. In fact, the channel also took to Twitter to announce to announce the return of actor Salman Khan as the host of the show.

Together, we have created a lot of engagement opportunities for viewers for the premiere episode. We created an app called Challenger app which allows contestants inside the Bigg Boss house to engage with viewers. This way the channel created exclusive content such as funny videos and pictures, creating a huge buzz. We should be touching 1.5 million tweets by the end of this season. Some of the videos have got 50-60 per cent completion rate (percentage of viewers who have watched the video till the end).

Star Plus is another channel which has used social TV to promote its shows such as Satyamev Jayate, Sumit Sambhal Lega, and reality shows such as Dance Plus and Nach Baliye. In fact, Satyamev Jayate had a segment which allowed viewers to tweet live.

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