Nielsen Will Add Facebook to Social Ratings Measurement

By Tim Baysinger 

For nearly three years, Nielsen has been measuring the social conversation around TV shows—but only on Twitter.

Now, as it faces increased scrutiny over its ability to accurately measure how many people are watching TV, the company has decided to add Facebook to its social ratings. Nielsen plans to make the new data, which it’s calling Social Content Ratings, available in the first half of this year.

The new ratings will incorporate all Facebook posts not marked as private and are expected to be available in markets where the company’s Twitter TV Ratings service currently is (the U.S., Australia, Italy and Mexico). Nielsen also plans to eventually integrate data from Instagram.

“The development of Social Content Ratings reflects Nielsen’s commitment to continually adapt our services to meet the needs of the industry and is part of Nielsen’s ongoing effort to evolve our measurement to reflect the total audience across screens and platforms,” said Nielsen Social president. “Nielsen Social measurement is evolving to provide a comprehensive, standardized picture of how consumers are responding to program content through social media, wherever and whenever.”

The increased data should give networks and other content providers a better gauge of how effective their social marketing strategies are and insight into the relationship between social activity and tune-in. While Twitter has long been considered the main social platform when it comes to TV-related social conversation, adding Facebook—and its 330 million peak-hour users—will only enhance the scope.

“People use Facebook to discover and discuss what’s going on in the world and that consistently includes their favorite programming,” said Nick Grudin, director of media partnerships at Facebook.

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