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Nielsen to Expand Measure of TV Talk From Twitter to Facebook, Instagram

When Nielsen launched its “Twitter TV Ratings” in the fall of 2013, it hoped to measure a great deal of the conversation about TV shows taking place in the social-media sphere. Now the company will have to contend with a lot more chatter.

The company will expand its work to Facebook, and, at a later date, Instagram, and will measure aggregate-level conversation related to TV shows taking place in posts shared with friends and family, with followers and with the public at large. These new “Social Content Ratings” are expected to become available in the first half of 2016 in all markets where Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are currently available: Australia, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

Nielsen clients “are trying to use social to help drive reach for their programs and engagement around the program,” said Sean Casey, president of Nielsen Social, in an interview. He said the service will measure not only conversation around linear views of a program, but also chatter that takes place about a show around the clock.

“Every day, television fans from around the world use Facebook to talk about the shows and stars they love with the people that matter most to them,” said Nick Grudin, director of media partnerships at Facebook, in a prepared statement. “Fans connect with each other while the show is airing and continue the conversation throughout the week in between episodes. We’re excited that Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings will now reflect the social conversation around television in its entirety.”

The expansion illustrates how important social-media activity has become in influencing consumer action. Understanding how and when would-be viewers talk about or learn about a particular program lend a boost to a TV network’s promotional efforts or help shape the creative direction of a series.

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