Based on viewing figures, the opening battle of the autumn talent shows on Saturday was pretty much a draw. The Strictly Come Dancing launch was watched by around 8 million viewers on BBC1, while The X Factor, in a later slot on ITV1, drew just a few hundred thousand more.
But comparing the shows in terms of Twitter activity paints a different picture, with The X Factor the most tweeted about show of the night, eliciting approximately three times more interest on the social media site than the second most popular, Strictly.
A total of 104,898 tweets about the ITV1 talent show were sent during its 8:10pm-9:10pm slot (and in the 30-minutes before and after) reaching a peak of 2,423 tweets per minute (TPM) and giving X Factor an 89.3% share of the overall Twitter traffic for UK TV shows during that period.
Strictly, meanwhile, received just 33,496 tweets, hitting a top TPM of 775, with a 57.1% share during the period between 6pm (half an hour before it began) and 8:05pm (30 minutes after it finished), according to data provided by social media analysts SecondSync.
Perhaps X Factor viewers were responding to the show’s contstant entreaties to tweet using hashtags it had invented for its various auditioning singers – or perhaps Strictly fans simply had less to discuss as the show revealed its new celebrity line-up without giving viewers performances to critique. Either way, BBC bosses are unlikely to be too worried about competing on Twitter, as long as they can stay in step when it comes to viewing figures.