Last week Channel 4 announced that it would be launching a new TV channel, 4Seven, which will broadcast programmes based on their popularity on social networking sites.
It is not clear yet how Channel 4 will monitor social media, what social networking sites are included in the assessment and how far in advance listings will be known. One thing is for sure, it will certainly provide a solution to that increasingly popular question: “Did you see that really good programme last night? It was trending on Twitter.”
Take Twitter for example, it is not clear whether 4Seven will only broadcast programmes that make it into the top ten trending topics. This is a regular spot for well-known Channel 4 programmes, such as ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’, but these tend to be documentary style series rather than long-running programming, such as ‘Deal or no Deal’, so it remains unclear as to how the Channel will fill the air time.
Social media is quickly becoming increasingly integrated with all media channels, but it remains to be seen how successful a TV channel dominated by social media will prevail.
No launch date has been confirmed as of yet but rumour speculates summer 2012 with the channel expected to be available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview.