Taking on Twitter, Facebook will send TV networks more data

Facebook (s FB) is going to start sharing weekly data reports with ABC (s DIS), NBC (s GE), Fox (s NWS) and CBS (s CBS). The Wall Street Journal‘s Digits notes that the reports will include how many likes, comments and shares TV episodes get on the social network. They will also include some data from private posts:

“The new television data report will tally all posts, including private ones, but Facebook says the data is collected anonymously and will only be shown in aggregate to protect users’ privacy.

The new Facebook reports are fairly limited. They show, for example, that a recent episode of ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ generated more than 1 million interactions from some 750 thousand people.”

The move is seen in part as an attempt to compete with Twitter, which has actively wooed TV networks with data on tweets about their shows. As my colleague Janko Roettgers reported recently, TV is a big part of Twitter’s upcoming IPO strategy, with the company positioning itself as an ally to both brands and networks: “Instead of just siphoning ad money away from TV, it promises to make TV advertising more relevant, and at the same time deliver the audiences that make TV the go-to medium for advertisers. In turn, it could get a nice chunk of ad revenue on its own.”

Twitter recently announced a deal with CBS that will embed CBS clips in users’ Twitter streams, and this week Nielsen is expected to launch the Nielsen Twitter TV Report, which will rank TV shows according to how much they are discussed on Twitter.


But Facebook is touting its data as being more accurate than Twitter’s because Facebook has a larger user base. “The conversation is being generated by a group that is much more representative of the general population,” Daniel Slotwiner, who heads Facebook’s measurement team, told the WSJ. “That means we should have a better signal as it relates to ratings.”