old tv replace
DailyInvention via Flickr

Would You Rather? Replacing TV with Social Media

Would you rather sit through an entire TV commercial break or wait for a 15-second ad break on a Facebook video? Considering the average attention span only lasts 8 seconds nowadays, we’re going to guess you chose the latter. More and more consumers are replacing TV with social media. It offers constant and immediate entertainment for consumers and has become the perfect platform for brands for both mass exposure and targeted impressions. 

Convenience and Customization

Social media is becoming the new television, only better. Better, because, well, you can’t lug a TV around with you in your pocket. The constant access of having a phone means a consumer can check social media at any point in the day. Waiting in line at Starbucks? Check Instagram. Making dinner? You need to look up a recipe up on Pinterest. In a boring teleconference at work? Well, TikTok duets are better than John droning on about last year’s profit reports. Waiting forever for the end of a commercial break on TV? Snapchat videos let you check in on what your friends are up to.

The constant accessibility simply makes social platforms more convenient than television. Social media is replacing the old box and rabbit ears because anything you can watch on TV, you can find on social, only faster and with fewer ad breaks. As the saying goes, ‘anything you can do I can do better,’; social media embodies this by competing with and actually replacing television, as shown by the 11% drop in television viewing from 2010-2016. If you like MTV all you have to do is follow @Rap and you get the same content, but when and how you want it, with less waiting. If you like Comedy Central you can follow accounts like @Humor to deliver the same comedy, with more personalization. Social platforms are giving viewers and consumers everything they want, and then some (hello fan accounts!).

Marketing Advancements

On the flip side, social platforms also cater to marketers and advertisers. Social media allows you, as a marketer, to have a choice. Do you want mass impressions or do you want targeted impressions? Or would you like both? Placing ads on Instagram, Snapchat, and even TikTok gives whatever level of exposure you want. It garners just as many impressions with as broad of a reach as television but also gives the option of a targeted audience. As television ad breaks have gotten longer and longer, ads on social platforms have become more and more intuitive and creative, allowing for more interaction and more personalized ads. 

Social media has become the new TV for this very reason. Overall, it’s a more personal experience with its custom content, influencers, targeting and, above all, the interaction it facilitates. As social media advances with streaming like Youtube TV and IGTV, it takes more and more space from television and it will start to demand the question “Would you rather?” from more and more consumers.