How social media is changing movies

by Bob Deutsch

How social media is changing movies
Half of young adults feel that using a smartphone during a movie adds to the experience.

Technology in the past few decades has greatly changed the film industry, including how movies are filmed, shown and edited. With more special effects, higher quality for less money and more affordable production costs, the quality of movies has greatly increased. Something else that may be helping films become better than they have before, however, is social media.

A recent article in the Boston Globe explained how social media has changed the film industry. With tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, viewers can share their opinions, and sway others’, much more easily than in the past.

“Word-of-mouth has always been a very effective tool at either propelling or sinking movies,” Karie Bible, a box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told the Globe. “Now, with social media, it travels at the speed of light.”

As a result, films are liked or disliked at extremes. If a movie is liked by viewers, social media helps it explode, and if it’s disliked, the same tools discourage anyone from seeing it. For filmmakers, there is more pressure than ever to produce a great movie.

Social media has changed something else about the movie industry. The article explained that social media users – typically young adults – often want more control during the movie, including access to their smartphones. Penn Schoen & Berland, a consulting firm, found that half of 18-24 year-olds polled said “multitasking while using social networking sites” adds to a movie watching experience. Young movie goers may soon be leaning more towards home viewing, or outdoor movies, instead of the typical movie theater, where smartphones are still shunned.

With this new information, theaters, as well as other event organizers, may begin investing in outdoor movie screens in response to this trend, helping young adults use their social media tools during the film while not compromising the quality of the theater.

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