Twitter and TV: second screening partners

According to SecondSync, 109,000 GBBO related tweets were sent during last year’s Great British Bake Off finale.

This year there has been an increase of nearly 50,000.

This increase was achieved with help from the official Great British Bake Off Twitter account, which encouraged the sharing of photos and opinion with its 60 tweets during the broadcast.

Other notable revelations during this one-hour time frame:

  • There were 80,674 unique users. 
  • 71% were female.
  • The peak TPM (tweets per minute) was 6,824, which occurred around 8.55pm, as the winner was announced.

Also helping to achieve this figure were the verified accounts from Marks and Spencer and Elle Magazine commenting on the GBBO hashtag hoping to catch a little bit of traffic for themselves.

SecondSync also highlights the year on year rise for ITV’s The X Factor.

2013’s opening episode saw a similar rise of 50,000 tweets on the previous year’s opening episode, totalling 552,399 tweets during its 75 minute length.

As you can see the demographic is skewed more 50/50, and the TPM is slightly more evened out across the episode, without the peak figure that GBBO saw at 8.55pm.

This is probably down to the format of the shows themselves, without a ‘thrilling’ vote-off at the end of the Saturday night showing of The X-Factor there is less of a peak.


53% of adults currently admit to interacting with another form of media while they watch television, this is more than double last year’s figure of 24% who admit to second screening.

Many companies are seeking to take advantage of our wandering attention; one of them is Zeebox, covered in more depth in this post.

Zeebox seeks to directly link the viewer, the TV show they’re watching and the mobile device in their hand by providing real-time programme information, direct social sharing with Twitter and Facebook, further interactive polls and competitions and in-app purchases.

Although as Sky has a 10% stake in the product, Zeebox is only available for Sky TV programming, so there’s a few barriers to overcome before Zeebox can hope to match Twitter’s social TV glory.


Noticeable for its absence from any of this social TV conversation is Facebook. That’s because… well frankly, Facebook isn’t very good at it. 

Hashtags, the very bread and butter of Twitter interactivity, just don’t work on Facebook.

Facebook also doesn’t show user content when searching for specific subjects, only branded content, which largely seems to miss the mark in a way that Twitter immediately addresses with up-to-the-second user updates.

All of this adds up to the sad fact that Facebook just can’t beat Twitter for social TV.

Check out this post for more key stats on Twitter’s relationship with TV and download our Twitter for Business Best Practice Guide.