People watching television while simultaneously browsing the Web or social media is definitely a thing, and the app Chirpify, a way to buy things in stream on social media, is readying its leap into this burgeoning sector.
We all know television is a one way medium, but with the advent of mobile devices, more and more broadcasters are finding ways to interact with viewers via the so called second screen. Instead of the familiar text this code to this number type of interactions, the use of hashtags and coordinated campaigns has helped produce large online followings for many popular shows.
Chirpify allows people to buy, sell and pay with simply a comment on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and it's just raised US$ 6 million in private funds to help it focus more on television shows and even live events. Offering people a way to not only interact with their favorite television shows, but also to buy things they see or are advertised on the show is no doubt going to be lucrative.
Look at how quickly television shows have adopted Twitter and Facebook for proof of that. As a concept, there seems to be little in the way of television and mobile devices getting more in sync as far as cross channel campaigns. Now, it's up to companies like Chirpify to show they can be the vanguard of this movement.
A social commerce app needs, what else, a social network. If an app like Chirpify can convince television producers and advertisers to work in conjunction with it's in stream buying system, there seems to be little in the way of stopping its continued growth. Obviously, Chirpify's investors think that it's going to happen, but Chirpify has competition.
Most notably in the form of Ribbon, an app that Twitter kicked off its network for violating its terms of service. The two companies are not clones of each other, but they have similar features. The point is television networks and shows are likely to continue to investigate how to take advantage of second screens, be it social networks or websites.
Chirpify charges 5% of a transaction, plus a 30 cent fee for doing business with it. Customers create an account, and when they type buy in a reply or comment box, their PayPal or credit card fires off the purchase. Besides television, Chirpify is hoping to cozy up to promoters to start up a similar second screen model for concerts or other events.
Just like with television, cross channel campaigns could be put together to link up what's happening on stage with a related social stream. This is a creative way to use social media no doubt, so as more online and offline experiences commingle, it will be interesting to see if Chirpify is one of the companies that can be successful with it.