A recent BBC post highlights some interesting new facts around second screen usage and discusses what some see as today’s second screen app.

First, some stats from marketing agency Digital Clarity:

  • 80% of under-25s used a second screen to communicate with friends while watching TV and
  • 72% used Twitter, Facebook or a mobile app to comment on shows

Clearly, viewers aren’t waiting for TV producers to engage them; they’re doing it themselves around their own social graphs and popular social networking apps (see: Twitter, Facebook).  While Twitter CEO Dick Costello recently proclaimed that the “second screen is Twitter,” it is only now because the alternatives are limited.

However, there’s a ripe opportunity here.  The BBC also referenced a Nielsen mobile study which showed over 85% of mobile and PC users accessing the web while watching TV, though just under a quarter were viewing content related to the TV show they were viewing.

How to leverage this opportunity?  More engaging sites and applications need to be created, so viewers can get a richer experience and be plugged in more with their friends.  Clearly, new platforms will enable watching TV to be more social, whether from TV producers or from advertisers looking to “join the conversation” as they like to say.  Who chooses to lead the way is still to be determined.