Social TV: Facebook v. Twitter

Facebook is thought to have missed its chance on mobile and is supposedly losing young users to newer and less ad-heavy platforms such as Snapchat and Tumblr. Both television shows and brands are well represented on social media with thousands of Twitter followers and millions of Facebook likes. While followers and likes do not provide the same interactions, the Social TV conversation has been dominated by the two biggest platforms: Twitter and Facebook.

Social TV has played a prominent role in Twitters IPO as it is far easier to analyze and quantify Twitter conversation as opposed to Facebook interactions. Facebook has stricter privacy guidelines and the content created in that community is protected and therefore, much more difficult for analysts for fully access.

Facebook is trying to compete with Twitters position as the go-to live conversation platform with their implementation of the hashtag and “watching” status updates. Facebook has been joining the Social TV conversation and it may not be too late as Dave Poltrak of CBS maintains that Twitter has not yet won the battle for Social TV.


Last month, a company specializing in social media analytics for TV, SecondSync, made a deal to gain access to Facebook Social TV data in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The first data release showed 10% and 24% of audiences interacted with the UK X-Factor finale and the Breaking Bad finale, respectively. SecondSync found that Facebook is used more as an immediate social medium with 60% of interactions during broadcasts, and that 80% of those interactions take place via mobile devices.

Interactions and tweets are not the same. An interaction is defined by SecondSync as a “TV-related post, comment, like, or share.” Facebook is more personal and Twitter is considered public, therefore posing a challenge to the future of social TV analytics. TV broadcasters, programmers, and advertisers are looking for more insights on how best to use social media to support their campaigns, and it seems that a presence on both platforms is necessary in order to have a well-rounded social media presence.


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