Nielsen Adds Facebook Conversations to Its TV Ratings

The media research firm will track public and private conversations regarding television shows on the platform.

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By Laura Entis

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Facebook knows all, including which television shows you discuss on the platform. And now, it's sharing the data with media research firm Nielsen.

Yesterday, Nielsen announced it is adding Facebook data as part of its "social content ratings," which already include conversations about TV shows held on Twitter. Measurement will include posts, comments, likes, replies and reach, as well as age and gender demographics.

Instagram, the photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, will eventually be integrated as well.

Nielsen -- which has long been criticised for failing to keep up with consumers' shifting viewing habits because it does not recognize many online sites such as Netflix -- added Twitter data to its TV ratings in 2013. Exchanges on Facebook are typically more private, but the company said it will have access to aggregated, private conversations and activity in order to track a show's influence on the social network.

Related: Reset for a New Life, Not Just a New Year.

"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," Nick Grudin, Facebook's director of media partnerships, said in a statement. "Fans connect with each other while the show is airing and continue the conversation throughout the week in between episodes."

As with Twitter, Nielsen will provide metrics on Facebook conversations about a show while it's being aired, as well as on a constant basis. The idea is to help content creators "better understand the relationship between social activity and tune-in," the company wrote in a blog post. Meanwhile, agencies and advertisers can access relevant data to "maximize social buzz generated through ad placements, sponsorships and integrations."

Related: Looking to Cut the Cable Cord? Dish Network's Sling TV Is Now Available to Everyone.

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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