Analysing the chatter on social media platforms is increasingly becoming more important as a method of assessing the level of viewer engagement in a television show. With Underbelly 3 screening its debut episode this evening, I thought it may be interesting to see just how active the conversation was tonight.

While I’m sure there was a significant amount of Facebook discussion, Twitter tonight registered a significantly high level of conversation. Using the #underbelly hashtag (so, this does not include all of the conversation about the show by those not using the relevant hashtag), Twitterstats registered 1500 tweets between 8pm to midnight, with a high of 887 people at 10pm.

It’s somewhat interesting to compare these figures to Sept 30 last year when Celebrity Masterchef aired the same night as the first Hey Hey special (as seen below on this graph by social media monitoring firm Dialogix).

Obviously, traffic was nowhere near as high, but it is important to acknowledge that Underbelly, a program with a strong scripted narrative, is less likely to have as many viewers distracted by multitasking. Also, Underbelly has a much lower curiosity factor attached to it.

While reaction to Underbelly 3 was certainly mixed, its safe to say that viewer engagement with the show tonight has been rather high. We’ll know come morning whether the ratings were just as prosperous.

What did you think of the show?

Note: Be sure to check out Glenn Dyers ratings wrap in the Crikey newsletter each day.