Last Sunday evening’s TV schedule left Formula 1 fans very happy and Antiques Roadshow viewers extremely grumpy.
Heavy rain showers halted the Canadian Grand Prix for two hours halfway through the race, meaning BBC viewers were forced to watch images of a waterlogged racetrack rather than Grandma’s collection of Royal Doulton teapots.
But even the most avid fans of F1 would have to agree that watching FIA stewards attempting to sweep water off a racing circuit isn’t particularly entertaining; luckily Twitter was on hand to keep us all updated and amused.
As a keen user of Twitter I’ve always found that the micro-blogging tool is at its best when used in conjunction with a live TV event. My Twitter feed is full of conversations with friends watching the same TV programme, sharing frustrations, opinions and jokes. I am able to speak to my network of friends – and the rest of the world through the use of hashtags – as if I was down at the pub, creating a much more social experience.
I believe that nowhere is Twitter used more effectively than in Formula 1, mostly because of the way racing teams themselves have embraced social media. The whole way through the race, from its rain drenched start to its thrilling conclusion, I was receiving live updates from inside the team garages and reporters in the pit-lane, keeping me in touch with everything that was going on.
If last weekend was anything to go by the use of a second screen to interact during live TV is proving to be a useful tool to keep viewers engaged and for brands and media to reach their consumers. Maybe next time it will be the antiques fans causing a Twitter trend (#mahogany).