Expect a more scientific Shark Week this year with Sharkopedia, extensive social media push

expect more scientific shark week sharkopedia social media
Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock.com

When Discovery’s Shark Week begins on Sunday (July 5), the week-long celebration will feature expanded scientific online content on a dedicated site called Sharkopedia. Shark experts, or “finbassadors” as the network calls them, will take over Discovery’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to educate viewers about sharks, according to Variety. It’s all part of president Rich Ross’ plan to make Shark Week more of a scientific series of programming instead of an over-dramatized mix of truth and fiction.

“We’re focusing hard on the scientists this year and the research that a lot of the science community is engaging in with shark behavior,” said Discovery VP of documentaries Howard Swartz to USA Today. “We’re really hitting that hard this year.”

Sharkopedia, an extensive online guide to sharks, delves into pages upon pages on topics like shark conservation, shark attacks, shark sex, shark history, and the shark diet. Discovery secured a group of “finbassadors” — scientists, divers, filmmakers, photographers, advocates and the like — to develop this free content and run their social media accounts for the week. Also on tap for the network are Snapchat stories featuring mascot Chompie Jr. as well as live-streamed Meerkat events including a live shark feeding filmed at Baltimore’s National Aquarium.

“There are so many different ways for people to interact with ‘Shark Week’, and we are building a big, multi platform experience that has huge reach across Facebook and Twitter,” said Discovery exec Paul Pastor to Variety. The network will also be testing the aforementioned newer social media platforms.

Discovery’s weeklong ‘Shark Week’ on network TV will also publicize the online guide, saying that the programs are “powered by” Sharkopedia. When its different TV shows mention shark facts, the channel will tell viewers to check out their online content.

Sharkopedia is the network’s response to viewers’ backlash against past programming which exaggerated the truth. “We live in a world that is both curious and judgmental when it comes to anything that smells of chicanery or lack of transparency,” said Ross to USA Today. “When they found out [that certain programming] wasn’t true, the backlash against the channel was fierce.”

Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Home Theater

All of the TVs getting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2019

This year, Apple made it clear it was done keeping its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to itself. With an open API, the way is clear for a plethora of third-party devices, including this growing list of TVs.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Movies & TV

New trailer for 'The Punisher' season 2 teases a bloody showdown

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Buying Guides

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.