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Social and TV Still Separate Activities for Young UK Consumers

Social TV a minority activity among UK internet users ages 16 to 24

eMarketer expects 5.3 million 18- to 24-year-olds to use a social network site via any device at least once per month this year, representing 94.0% of internet users in that age demographic. But while social may be near universal among the group, young UK internet users aren’t channel surfing and social sharing at the same time.

A February 2014 poll by YouGov found that social media usage while watching TV was still a minority activity among older teens and early 20-somethings in the UK. Just 42% of 16-to-24-year-old internet users said they simultaneously used social media as they viewed television. Though this was well ahead of the 27% total and the percentages for older age groups, it still indicated that social TV hadn’t caught on with the majority of young UK consumers.

Looking specifically at Twitter, whose real-time atmosphere may encourage tweeting while viewing, a September 2013 study by Harris Interactive UK found similar results. Nearly two-thirds of UK 16- to 24-year-olds who used Twitter said they never live tweeted about TV programs, and more than half of 11- to 15-year-olds said the same. Such results could also indicate that even if young UK Twitter users use the social network during TV time, they may not necessarily be actively participating on the platform.

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