Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is confident that it is the best repository for viewership data on the Internet, and it means to prove this to the major networks, including ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and a few additional networks. That is to say that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) believes that it provides more comprehensive viewership data than Twitter does, and has begun to deliver reports to the aforementioned networks regarding the level of activity that it is seeing across its entire network—both public and private. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is providing weekly reports that include aggregated details about shares, likes, and comments that occur around specific episodes.
Facebook data is being ananymized to protect users’ privacy
While the reports include data that comes from its users’ private use of its platform, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is being very careful to assure its users that this data has been “ananymized” with the data that networks are receiving, and that it is simply a measurement of the total social interactions that an individual show garners. For example, according to the Journal, Facebook is simply providing information like…Show A received x interactions from x users. This begs the question, how many interactions did “Breaking Bad” receive last night from “two screen viewers?”
Twitter has so far been winning the network war
Twitter has been winning the war of measuring real-time engagement on social networks for some time, but Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is banking on these reports to show the networks that they not only have options, but that their data is more valuable than that of its competitor. Facebook has also offered the larger networks a “searchable firehose” of public posts in addition to tabulating private interactions. Virtually all of Twitter is public and consequently countable for the networks. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is hoping that the networks are interested in the private domain information that only Facebook is providing.
It is this data that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) believes to be a premium measure of social interaction with television.
“The conversation is being generated by a group that is much more representative of the general population,” Daniel Slotwiner, the head of Facebook’s TV metrics team, tells the Journal. “That means we should have a better signal as it relates to ratings.”
Facebook looking for advertising dollars
Clearly, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is not providing this information out of the kindness of its heart. What it is doing is trying to prove to networks that they need to be pouring advertising dollars into real-time events. It’s the “big fish” advertising money that has, thus far, eluded Zuckerberg and company.