Social media is constantly changing the way we interact with our favorite content. Is this always a good thing? We’re about to find out.

Last July, the Time Warner Global Media Group put out an RFP calling for academic institutions to design research proposals that would uniquely leverage the capabilities of our Medialab in New York City. Today, we were excited to announce that Ball State University was selected from more than 30 contenders for its second screen study proposal.

Ball State’s proposed study will use the Medialab’s high-tech research capabilities to look for new insights on one of the biggest emerging trends in content consumption. While there’s been a great deal of research done around social TV, we expect this study to generate more in-depth findings that will tell us if second screen usage makes viewers more engaged in programming and ads.

The Medialab houses an in-home style living room which will serve as a testing environment where participants will watch linear television while interacting on smartphones and tablets. The lab’s eye-tracking glasses will monitor where viewers’ eyeballs are focused while participating in social television – are they looking at the TV, their mobile screens, or elsewhere in the room?

With social television reshaping traditional media consumption, it’s crucial for our businesses and advertising partners to better understand the impact that it has on how consumers engage in content. We’re excited to work with Ball State University and look forward to sharing the findings.