Social media + TV = What, exactly? A new study hopes to find out

By Jim O'Neill on Jul 18 2014 at 4:45 AM
Facebook and Nielsen are partnering to study social media effect on TV

Does social media have an effect on TV viewing? Or is it the other way around? Does sharing a line from a just-watched comedy on TV, or recounting with your Facebook friends a scene as it unfolds on your favorite drama have an effect on viewership?

Not everyone agrees a social network is all that influential in determining what you might want to watch… or vice versa.

But, there’s just something about the second screen and social media that TV can’t quite ignore.

That’s part of the reason Facebook and TV ratings firm Nielsen are partnering on a new study.

The other, of course, is Nielsen’s struggle to get a handle on what and how much TV is being watched on connected devices other than traditional TV sets.

Facebook will feed Nielsen anonymized and aggregated data – like age and gender – about users watching TV on their connected devices.

Nielsen is hoping to get a better picture of second screen activity and social media use. They’ll take the data and try to correlate it to existing metrics.

Facebook recently was at the center of a brouhaha involving the social media giant manipulating user posts to track their moods.

This time around, the data, Facebook says, will be kept private.

“We have worked with Nielsen under strong privacy principles,” Facebook said in a statement. “We don't believe that audience measurement systems should be used to adjust targeting; they should only be used for measurement. This protects the privacy of people viewing ads and ensures that both advertisers and publishers have the same information about the audiences.”

Nielsen, concerned that its work with Facebook and its user data might open up another can of worms, also laid down the law with its own statement that read it “takes nothing more seriously than consumer privacy and we have a well-established reputation for protecting privacy spanning several decades. Consumer privacy is a top priority for us and we work with leading privacy advocates to ensure our products meet or exceed industry privacy standards.”

There you go.

By the way, this isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together.

Back in 2010, they cooperated on an advertising effectiveness study, “Brandlift,” across 14 Facebook campaigns. The study looked at how paid and earned media combined to affect brand awareness.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia

READ THESE NEXT

Social video: Real Madrid taps Facebook Live, videos reach 1B social feeds
Social TV, Live sports
Social video: Real Madrid taps Facebook Live, videos reach 1B social feeds
Oct 27 2016 7:00 AM

The world’s most popular European football club, Real Madrid, is setting course on a content distribution strategy that may help provide a roadmap for other sports looking to turn social media into more than an exchange of pithy comments.

Twitter buckles up, gets ready to roll with 1st streamed NFL game
Sports, Live Streaming, Social TV
Twitter buckles up, gets ready to roll with 1st streamed NFL game
Sep 15 2016 10:00 AM

Planning to watch NFL Thursday Night Football on Twitter? You may actually be able to see the game now that Twitter has rolled out a new app that lets you watch on the big screen… assuming you have an Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Microsoft Xbox One connected to said screen.

The company rolled out the free app this week as it prepares to stream the first of its 10 scheduled Thursday night games, starting with the N.Y. Jets and the Buffalo Bills

Report: Social-Mobile video set for massive growth over next decade
Mobile, Social TV
Report: Social-Mobile video set for massive growth over next decade
Aug 18 2016 4:45 AM

A new report says consumers in the U.S. now spend more than 50 hours a week using a "screen" -- a television, personal computer, tablet, or mobile phone – and posits that, increasingly, time spent on smartphones is driving that growth.

Social TV
Twitter takes user videos up to 140-sec. limit
Jun 22 2016 9:30 AM

Twitter, which earlier this year struck a deal to stream NFL Thursday Night Football games, is continuing to refine its own video game, this week announcing it would allow users to tweet 140-second-long videos, up for the 30-second limit it started with.