Facebook takes on Twitter in battle for TV social supremacy

Facebook takes on Twitter in battle for TV social supremacy
Facebook channel television

Facebook has decided that Twitter is having far too much fun with television and has announced it is getting in on the action too.

From this week, it will begin sending data to US networks on the shows that are generating the most chatter on the social network – whether it is through comments, likes or shares.

The idea is that Facebook is currently sitting on a massive pile of TV data that is waiting to be mined by the networks.

This marks yet another shift in the way TV is monitored. While services such as Nielsen are important to finding out the popularity of television shows, networks are increasingly looking to social to figure out who is watching what.

And considering the recent Breaking Bad finale broke all Twitter records, with 1.24 million tweets in the US sent during the show's end, current TV watching metrics are starting to look more than a little stale.

Facebook knows this and will combat Nielsen's team-up with Twitter with its own reports.

Better signal

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal about the new reports, Daniel Slotwiner, head of Facebook's measurement team, said: "The conversation is being generated by a group that is much more representative of the general population.

"That means we should have a better signal as it relates to ratings."

Facebook and Twitter aren't the only ones tapping into TV. Just this week, TechRadar revealed Gracenote's plans to audio-sync its second screen mobile experiences to the TV shows you are watching.

There's also Shazam who is going big on television. The service talked exclusively to TechRadar about its take on TV, with its chief product officer, Daniel Danker, explaining: "What we learned was that 85% of Shazam's users, Shazamed television. So, we have started adding calls to actions on programmes and to adverts. You are going to see a lot more of this too."

Facebook is hoping its broader demographic and bigger numbers will be enough to combat Twitter's real-time social TV push.

  • It's not just TV Facebook is taking on, but live events too - here we explain all
Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.