Facebook Study Finds Live Interaction With TV

Facebook, taking its latest shot in its social TV battle with Twitter, released the finding of a new study that shows that 60% of TV related interactions on Facebook happen while the show being discussed is on the air.

Up to a quarter of the TV audience is posting content related to the show they are watching on Facebook, according to the survey conducted by research firm SecondSync called “Watching with Friends: How TV Drives Conversation on Facebook.” Previous assumptions were that most Facebook activity took place before or after shows aired and not in real time.

“TV is an important area for Facebook and it has been actively encouraging activity in this space for some time,” according to the report. “Pages for shows, the adoption of the hashtag and the ‘Watching’ status update have all contributed to the high volume of interactions.”

Conversations about TV on Facebook are most often begun by posts by members, and those conversations continue in the form of comments.

The survey found that 80% of TV-related chatter on Facebook comes from a mobile device.

Looking at the final episode of Breaking Bad on AMC, SecondSync found 4,477,454 interactions on Facebook, with a peak at the final scene and conversation trailing off afterwards. In all, 22% of the TV audience interacted with Facebook. Similarly ,with the Jan. 4, 2014 NFL Playoff Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts, there were more than 7 million interactions, peaking at the final gun, and quickly petering out thereafter.

When NBC aired its live version of The Sound of Music in December, about 19% of the TV audience interacted on Facebook. The social network registered 7.3 million interactions. Those included 581,000 posts, 2.1 million comments, 4.7 million “likes,” and 19,440 shares. 

“When looked at holistically, real-time activity around TV and sport on the Facebook platform is hugely compelling and there are important commercial implications,” according to the report. “Audience measurement, TV planning, content discovery, direct response advertising, TV commissioning and research are just some of the sectors that will benefit from the insights coming out of the world’s biggest social network.”

SecondSync will continue to work closely with Facebook. Areas of future research will include investigating the extent to which Facebook drives TV tune-in, measuring the reach of TV-related interactions, and looking at the effectiveness of Facebook calls to action in TV advertising.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.