For Twitter, it’s not enough to be a social network that serves as the pulse for what everyone is currently talking about the most. Now the company also wants to direct your eyeballs to a specific location at a specific time, such as your television screen during prime time viewing hours.
With that in mind, Twitter has rolled out support for its new trending TV show banners to everyone currently using its native iOS or Android applications. The banners, which Twitter began testing with a sprinkling of users back in August, include the number of tweets being sent out about a show, an image of the show, and when/where the show airs/aired. You can access it by checking out the discover/trending stream on the mobile apps after scrolling down a bit.
The move is another effort by Twitter to cozy up to the television industry by making its social network an indispensable companion service for people watching television — sort of the way the remote or dead-tree-edition TV Guide magazines used to be prior to the Internet.
The new trending TV banners will help Twitter prove to the TV industry that it can both extend advertising opportunities and drive more eyeballs to hit shows. It’s also somewhat of an extension to Twitter’s earlier partnership with Comcast to place a “Seeit” button on tweets to drive people directly to shows currently airing.
This is hardly the first time Twitter has altered its service with the intent to become more useful to TV networks. The company’s new TV ad targeting platform is now available to all ad clients. (And on top of that, Twitter has forged second-screen advertising deals with media companies like Viacom.) The company acquired companies like Bluefin Labs to better analyze the data it collects while people watch TV and tweet, and it partnered with Nielsen to integrate that social data into its TV ratings.