Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Like “Sharknado,” but Bigger: Facebook Has Five Times More TV Chatter Than Twitter

For the past couple of years, Twitter has been making a very big deal about TV and Twitter’s value to the TV Industrial Complex: Promote your shows on our service, Dick Costolo and company tell the TV guys, and people will talk about your shows on our service, and we’ll get you more eyeballs and help you keep the ones you have.

This seems to go over well with the TV guys and their advertisers.

Which is why it’s curious that Facebook hasn’t been making the same argument. After all, lots of people talk about TV on Facebook, too, right?

Yes, they do. And now we’re getting the first inkling of a TV push from Facebook.

This comes from a new study from social TV tracker Trendrr, which looked at Facebook TV chatter for a week in May, using data that isn’t normally available to the public. Trendrr’s conclusion: Facebook has five times more TV-related activity on its site than Twitter and every other social network combined.

Trendrr’s work comes with some caveats — for starters, it’s only measuring a week — but it’s not surprising. After all, Facebook has a billion users to Twitter’s 200 million, so that 5x ratio makes plenty of intuitive sense.

The more interesting point is that Facebook said it’s going to start talking about all those TV talkers, sharers and thumbs-uppers.

“The reality is that a conversation is taking place around TV on Facebook at unprecedented scale,” said Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s director of global media partnerships. “It’s important that we help networks and advertisers understand the full level of engagement people have with TV content on Facebook. We’re just getting started and are committed to providing more insight into how people are talking — and how much they’re talking — about TV shows on our platform.”

Trendrr said that Facebook TV talkers also behave differently than those on Twitter (the other “social TV” services have very little traffic to speak of).

For instance, there is more chatter about comedies, Spanish-language programming and dramas on Facebook, Trendrr said.

Love to see the “Sharknado” numbers.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik