Tweeting during a game actually improves engagement, study suggests

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Tweeting during a game while watching it at the same time isn’t necessarily going to make you less engaged with the game. In fact, a new study commissioned by the Twitter suggests mid-game tweets may actually improve the experience. A study by Neuro-Insight, shared on January 18, says tweets during a game increases engagement with both tweets and ads on the platform.

The study was prompted by data from an analytics firm, ComScore, which showed Twitter’s live user count jumping around 4 percent during a game or other live entertainment. Twitter says the data also shows that other social media platforms didn’t see the same increases. During big games, the number of users online rises even more, with the 2017 Super Bowl bringing a 19 percent jump over the network’s usual Sunday users.

That data had Twitter digging further into tweets during a game, so the company commissioned the Neuro-Insight study. The research was conducted using biometrics; Twitter didn’t go into detail on the exact process for those measurements, but Neuro-Insight used a visor and cap to track eye movement and brain activity.

The study found that users tuning into both traditional TV and Twitter simultaneously showed 31 percent more engagement and 35 percent more memorability of the game. That group was compared with users who only relied on Twitter for game data and users who only watched on TV. The Twitter viewers showed 60 percent more engagement and roughly that same percentage in memorability over those tested that only watched the game on TV.

While the first suggests tweeting during a game makes the event more memorable, the study also looked at how ads factor into the equation. Twitter ads that were viewed during the game by users also watching on TV, according to the study, showed 42 percent more engagement than TV ads during the same game. When using both Twitter and TV to follow the game, the Twitter breaks are apparently not just a distraction from the ads — the study says that users tuning in using both methods also showed 18 percent more engagement to the ads on TV than users that didn’t log-in during the game.

The study results, Twitter says, suggests tweeting during the game enhances the experience, both for users and advertisers.

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