SecondSync study: 60% of TV-related Facebook interactions happen in real-time


SecondSync, a leading provider of social TV analytics solutions in the U.K., joined forces with Facebook to produce a first of its kind global study tracking TV conversation in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

The findings provide a view of how people in those areas watch TV programs and engage on Facebook. The statistics were pulled from aggregated and anonymized data to protect privacy:

  • Facebook is showing the ability to be a real-time platform, as 60 percent of TV-related Facebook interactions happen during the show airing.
  • The scale of TV-related chatter on Facebook corresponds to the reach of the social network.
  • 80 percent of TV-related chatter on Facebook is generated from mobile devices
  • The study also revealed patterns of engagement and types of interaction on Facebook across TV genres, demographics and geographies – program by program. For example: Dramas generate the highest bookend pattern while films generate the most consistent peaks in engagement.

The study examined how TV audiences engage with shows using four different types of Facebook interaction: posts, comments, likes and shares. Each type exhibited distinct repeating patterns of engagement that were consistent across the TV schedules.


Julie DeTraglia, Senior Vice President, Digital and Broadcast Marketing Research, at NBCUniversal, said in a press release::

In recent years, tracking TV-related social media conversations has become an important component of our audience research. However, up until now we had no visibility into the ways people were engaging with our shows on Facebook, a broad social platform with tremendous scale. Having access to this new data will allow us to plan our social strategy more effectively and potentially help us understand how social conversations may affect ratings.

Demographics and minute level data generated in this study came from a sample of high profile, predominantly prime-time shows, which aired between September 2013 and January 2014 in the UK, US and Australia. Chatter distribution statistics came from a study of 1,500 prime-time U.K. TV shows, broadcast between Sept.1, 2013 and Sept. 15, 2013.

The number of individuals engaging with shows in real-time on Facebook accounted for a significant proportion of the TV audience when compared with ratings data. In some cases, this was almost a quarter of the TV audience. For example:

  • The Breaking Bad finale saw 24 percent of its audience interacting on Facebook, with nearly 4.5 million Facebook interactions.
  • The Walking Dead saw nearly 6.7 million interactions, 67 percent of which came from likes.

Fred Leach, Facebook’s Head of Measurement R&D and Partnerships, said this in a press release:

This has valuable marketing implications, demonstrating trends by demographic and how mobile has become the key method of engagement.

unnamedAccess the full white paper here.

Top image courtesy of the Breaking Bad Facebook page.