If you are a “late night” fanatic, you probably watched the last Tonight Show that Jay Leno hosted and are anticipating Jimmy Fallon taking over the helm. If you are a Fallon fan and have already been watching his show, you are most likely already engaging with him on his many social media channels.
During the transition between the hosts, Fallon has been actively talking to his audience through social media. The “Ask Jimmy” segment has him answering fans questions, especially what they can expect on the new “Tonight Show.” Fallon has said he will continue his “Hashtag Game” where he asks his Twitter followers to submit their tweets about a topic he selects, and he reads his favorites on the air.
Many people think the “hashtag” is a joke that was made popular during the skit Fallon did with Justin Timberlake.
But, hashtags and social media have been integrated with TV watching for some time now. The “second screen” (the use of an additional device such as a tablet or smartphone while watching television) is increasing in use as viewers interact with their shows. Social TV is happening now, and networks and shows are looking for immediate audience feedback.
Fallon has established his following and platform, counting over 11.5M Twitter followers, 1.17M Instagram followers, 2.0M You Tube subscribers, and 1.4M Facebook fans.
It’s too early to tell how many “less social” fans will migrate to watch Letterman or how many new fans will find Fallon refreshing and look for the engagement factor. But, the shift is happening to using the audience as an integral part of the TV experience. We are no longer passive viewers, but active participants.
Fallon has an opportunity to make the second screen even more powerful. What do you think he can do to take it to the next level?