The Emerging Trend of Live Chat

Live chat is emerging as a trend across many industries from sports to music to brands to TV networks.

Leading examples from the Social TV industry include TNT’s live chat hubs for the network’s ‘Falling Skies’ and ‘Dallas’ shows, powered by Arktan SocialStreams.

TNT’s live chat experiences allow fans to participate in exclusive post-show native live chats with other fans.

Fans can start participating after logging in using their preferred social login name.

Facebook still remains by far as the most popular social login option chosen by 54% of the users according to data for Q1 2012 by Janrain, boasting a big jump from 42% in Q3 2011. Facebook reigns as the preferred social login also on mobile apps with 49% of the users.

The season finale of ‘Falling Skies’ earlier this week had record numbers of fans signing in to participate in the post-show native chat on 2nd Watch, the designated site for the ‘Falling Skies’ live chat hosted by Wil Wheaton.

After the show’s finale had aired on TV, 2nd Watch featured a 30-minute live video of Wil Wheaton interviewing the cast of the show, among them Noah Wyle, Maxim Knight, Connor Jessup, and Sarah Carter, and the live chat taking place at the same time on the site.

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The live chat page refreshes automatically showing new comments in real time, visually highlighting each new comment as they get posted by fans, without requiring refreshing of the page.

During peaks tens of thousands of fans came to watch the live video and chat on 2nd Watch.

Arktan SocialStreams’ social sharing feature allows fans chatting on the site to share their comments with their friends on social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, driving virality back to 2nd Watch. Facebook is the preferred social sharing site with close to 55% of the users.

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Besides chatting on 2nd Watch during post-show live chats, fans can also interact with other content around ‘Falling Skies’ show on a different social hub.

Arktan SocialStreams is powering this hub by extending real-time Social Web content and conversation there from Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue, Instagram, etc. The social sharing feature allows fans to share their posts made on the hub with their friends across various social networks.

Live chats are helping TNT build loyalty among the fans of the shows. The premium advertisers have taken notice of the large number of attentive fans at the sites during live chats, realizing the value of these live chat sites for advertising.

CTV, Canada’s largest private broadcaster, launched its Social Screen live chat for the ‘American Idol’ in May 2012.

CTV had previously used Social Screen, powered by Arktan, for other shows, including the Oscars.

CTV and TNT are examples of TV networks, who have been successful at engaging fans of their shows with designated live chat sites, building loyalty among fans. The trend is now gaining momentum across the Social TV industry, and beyond.