) will send weekly reports to TV networks on users' conversations
about their shows. This should worry the folks at Twitter as it
prepares to go public.
This week, Facebook says that it will offer networks a snapshot of
users' chatter, likes, shares and comments about TV shows to gauge
how much buzz a show produces.
You won't be able to read these reports, but people at
) will. Private conversations will also be made anonymous and
presented in aggregate to protect users' privacy.
This is really valuable stuff for advertisers. The gold standard
for a show's reach is traditionally ratings, but ratings don't tell
you how much people are actually engaging with or dedicated to the
programs. This new information will help advertisers determine the
value of an ad spot. Facebook has already begun working to cement
its position as the go-to social data provider for TV networks by
aggregating public newsfeed information to partners such as CNN.
Social Media: Why It's the Next Bubble to Burst
The value of Facebook's reports are limited, however, according to
Wall Street Journal
. For example, the reports have the potential to generate false
positives. The paper gives the example of the CBS show
, which get a lot of mentions because the string of letters "ncis"
is embedded in the word "San Francisco."
(Reminds us of the issue with
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) versus Anne
mentions on Twitter. Robotraders reportedly found the two
This puts Facebook head to head against Twitter, which has
previously teamed up with Nielsen Ratings for the "Nielsen Twitter
TV Rating" to give advertisers a more social look at how much
activity television shows get. It also has a deal to place CBS
clips into users' Twitter feeds. Providing real-time TV-related
data is also a sizable plank in Twitter's revenue plans as it
prepares to debut on the public markets before Thanksgiving.
There could be room for both Facebook and Twitter serving TV
stations and other advertisers. Facebook has a vastly wider user
base that skews young, but not by as much as the competition.
Twitter users are also more likely to be city dwellers, black, or
Pew Research Center. The Facebook crowd might also be more
representative, and not as tech-savvy, which some TV providers
With recent revelations that the National Security Agency is
doing much more
with your Facebook data than imagined, more advertising and data
sharing probably won't send users away.
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