Social media shapes TV viewing trends

Facebook and Twitter are driving TV watching patterns - but viewers are also wary of social media dishing up the dreaded spoilers.

Social media is now such a central part of everyday life that people use it to decide which TV programs to watch, a new survey has revealed.

According to research carried out in Britain by on demand TV service YouView, 12 per cent of those surveyed said they got program recommendations directly from Facebook, with 6 per cent saying they relied on Twitter.

There has been a steady increase in the number of Britons who use mobile devices while watching TV.

The practice is known as 'second-screening' and according to a Nielsen survey from 2013, more than 45 per cent of smartphone owners use their device while watching TV every day.

YouView's findings suggested the average UK household has added another TV-viewing capable device since last year, and as a result one in eight say they watch more TV than they did in 2013.

Susie Buckridge, director of product at YouView,said: "There has never been a greater choice of TV available to watch and more ways to watch it on, so it's interesting to see how viewers are clearing a path through the maze of shows being aired."

Social media was also a preferred destination for those looking to talk about the shows they're watching.

One in seven Facebook users said they used the site to discuss their favourite shows, although many also chose to try to avoid social networks so as not to encounter spoilers.

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