Here Is Why Twitter Still Beats Facebook for Super Bowl Brands

A sea of stats show how the huge platforms performed

So who won the Facebook-Twitter Bowl? Last night's game attracted a record number of viewers and became the most tweeted Super Bowl. It also was the most active on Facebook, where 65 million people "joined the conversation," according to the social network.

The Big Game has become a real-time battleground for both social media companies as they try to gain an edge with marketers. Twitter already is the classic choice for brands looking to interject themselves into live conversations. One social data firm actually claimed that despite its smaller user base, Twitter was the place for the most talk about the ads. Super Bowl ads were mentioned 1.5 million times on Twitter on Sunday versus 360,000 times on Facebook, according to Engagor.

Twitter appears to still be the place for live social media commentary, especially for brands that have to pay to get the most out of their Facebook activity. However, Facebook has made major efforts to capture the discussion, introducing trending topics (much like Twitter) and creating a Super Bowl hub for game chatter. Last night placed the two platforms head-to-head in a way that shows the benefits and drawbacks of both. In some areas, Twitter dominates, and Facebook controls others.

It is tough to compare the two because marketers measure engagement differently on each, but here are several stats from Facebook and Twitter that help shed light on where the Super Bowl talk was greatest (mind you, Facebook has almost 1.4 billion users to Twitter's almost 290 million). And below is a graphic from Engagor, breaking down the social media Super Bowl ad conversation:

  • There were 265 million posts, comments and likes related to the Super Bowl on Facebook, the company said.
  • Update: There were 36 million tweets related to the Super Bowl, up from about 25 million last year, and they recieved 2.5 billion impressions, according to Twitter.
  • The conversation was most active on both platforms at the end of the game when New England sealed the victory with a last-second interception. Facebook said 1.36 million people per minute were discussing the Patriots' win by the end of the game. Twitter calculated 395,000 tweets per minute on the interception.
  • Katy Perry's halftime show generated 3 million tweets. Meanwhile, Facebook said more than 1 million people per minute discussed the performance in real time.
  • Half the ads in the Super Bowl featured hashtags, while Facebook was mentioned four times.
  • The top three moments on Facebook were the Pats win, the halftime show and Seattle's third-quarter touchdown by Doug Baldwin.
  • Twitter's top three moments were the final interception, the subsequent Pats victory and the end of the halftime show. 

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