Facebook and Twitter are competing to show greater advertising value to TV networks as real-time content and screen convergence rule the day.
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are in hot competition to attract more advertising dollars from partnerships with broadcasters.
This week, Nielsen announced the commercial launch of "Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings," a measurement that details the number of Twitter users participating in conversations with TV shows. The Nielsen-Twitter program is available across over 215 English-language U.S. broadcast and cable networks, the announcement says.
Facebook is going to provide similar information, by way of weekly data reports to the four largest U.S. television networks--ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS. These TV reports intend to reveal how Facebook users interact with a television episode via their likes, comments and shares on Facebook.
Both social media channels are using their data to capitalize on their relationships with TV networks, in hopes that they can scoop profits from advertising. If a show becomes a hit on Facebook or Twitter, broadcasters and advertisers can exploit the social media buzz to better target their clients.
Analytics aside, Facebook and Twitter are competing over real-time content as well. On October 6, Facebook introduced new Application Programming Interface (API) tools at global television conference MIPCOM in Cannes, France. This is Facebook's next step in reaching networks abroad in France, Germany, Brazil, Canada and India. These new APIs enable content providers to incorporate related real-time activities on Facebook into their shows. Stations like TF1 in France, Channel 4 in the U.K., ARD in Germany, Esporte Interativo in Brazil and STAR networks in India plan to sign up for the API program to use real-time public posts, according to Wall Street Journal.
In Twitter's corner, they also have their Amplify program, where broadcasters can embed short video clips in their tweets in near-real time. Twitter Amplify's partnerships include BBC America, Fox, Conde Nast and Discovery Channel. Twitter further updated its Amplify partnerships this week, when Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) announced its partnership will kick off with the "2013 MTV EMA" on November 10th. MTV will highlight the show's most buzzworthy performance, in order to interact with its Twitter followers across more than 170 countries.
The battle between Facebook and Twitter over social conversations with broadcasters takes on additional meaning with Twitter's IPO news. The most recent statistics show Facebook has 1.1 billion monthly active users, almost 10 times the 115 million Twitter users.
User base and audience size aside, just how much social media buzz should factor into an ad-buying strategy remains to be seen.
Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
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