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Next TV Summit: Facebook Achieving 'Critical Mass' With TV Viewers

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SAN FRANCISCO--During a keynote address at the Next TV Summit, Nick Grudin, Facebook's head of strategic partnerships, highlighted the growing importance of the TV industry in the social media giant's future strategy and Facebook's push to offer TV players better tools to help them engage viewers.

Grudin noted that some 88 million to 100 million users log into Facebook each night during the prime-time period but stressed that the social media platform is "a complement, not a competitor to TV" for the attention of American consumers.

Social media activity on Facebook has also reached "a critical mass" for effective collaboration with TV players, he argued during a keynote interview with Multichannel News editor-in-chief Mark Robichaux.

One example of that critical mass was the fact that some 9 million people were interacting on Facebook around the "MTV Video Music Awards" and that around 10 million viewed the program on TV.

High levels of engagement also occurred during the open game of the NFL season, which prompted more than 20 million interactions on Facebook relating to the game.

Grudin also stressed that they have recently rolled out a number of new tools to help TV players and that there was already some evidence that social media activity could help boost ratings.

But he added that "we are only at the very beginning of figuring out how social and TV work together and are just beginning to figure out how to deliver value."

"With the new APIs, we are trying to give the industry tools to drive its own success," he added.