Posted by colleencourtney on February 4, 2013
I find it interesting that so many television shows now place hashtags on the bottom corner of their programs. I’m guessing AMC doesn’t do this for Mad Men, and if they do, it’s against the creator’s request. But, AMC does do it for shows like The Walking Dead. One that comes to mind is #TheWalkingDaughter where The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick urged viewers to tweet their comments using the aforementioned hashtag. I participated in that hashtag with some friends in hopes that our tweet would show up on The Talking Dead show later on. It didn’t, but I think it’s actually smart advertising. When things trend on twitter, it can pique the interest of others. People might think, “Hmm, what’s that about?” then they check out the trending topic and maybe they become intrigued by it enough to watch the show. Networks must value trending topics fairly well because they’ll sometimes spend money to have sponsored trending topics. If networks are allowed to post those hashtags for free, then that’s some great free advertising for twitter and the show.
Twitter hashtags can also be quite a curse as well. Shows air in the east and central times a couple to several hours before they air on the pacific coast and trending topics can really spoil some television shows. I’ll use The Walking Dead again as an example. Characters dying on The Walking Dead is pretty commonplace but whenever a character dies on The Walking Dead, it reaches the top of the trending topics pretty fast. I’ve clicked on the trending topics dealing with character deaths and have seen twitter accounts from the west coast or from other countries tweeting stuff like, “Well, I guess we now know who dies. Thanks a lot.”
Twitter trending topics can also be bad when it comes to movies. When movies first come out, especially scary movies, it’ll start trending with all the people tweeting their opinions of the film. If the film isn’t well received by the audience, it can really do damage to its future box office income if people hear its awful by fellow tweeters. So, twitter hashtags and trending topics can definitely be a curse and a blessing.