Twitter hashtags have been popping up in the lower thirds of TV shows’ on-air broadcasts now for about two years. But this Fall season, they’ve become a standard include in television networks on-air graphics packages and have gained even more prominence on-screen.
Here’s a look at the latest usage of hashtags across a few networks and shows.
The Persistent Standalone
ABC is sporting some pretty bold/translucent hastags in the lower left of the screen that persistent fairly strongly through the duration of the given show's episode. The hashtag inlcudes the network name (ABC), as part of it and is designed in a simlar graphical style as the ABC network bug which appears on the opposite side of the screen. The hashtag is written out in title case.
The Logo Lockup
FOX's The Xfactor maintains a persistent hashtag but is displayed as a network logo lock up bug (and in all lowercase).
Glee has been incorporating hashtags for a while and a few months ago I blogged about their use of multiple hashtags that appeared during buzzworthy moments of the show. The standard #Glee hashtag usually appears above the network bug but lately it's been a bit more conversational based on when the show returns from hiatus or a new season as in the example above #gleeisback - all lowercase.
CNN heavily promotes the hashtags of many of its shows and in this example it appears with motion/animation but also as a persistent hashtag below the animation and promoted dynamically throughout the show in the main lower-third area. It appears both as title case and all upper case.
Show's like PBS's Nova and NBC's The Voice display show hashtags at "crescendo" moments during on-air broadcasts where there's a high propensity for Twitter backchannel discussion. #novascinow is in all lowercase and #TheVoice is in title case.
There's no 1 right way to do it.
In the end, Networks and shows continue to experiment with the best way to spark conversation about thier shows using Twitter hashtags. The goal, of course, is to hopefully trend on Twitter to drive greater tune-in. And while there isn't consistency in display usage across television networks, you can bet we'll continue to see even more hashtags appear in programming.