The war between Twitter and Facebook over television ad dollars is heating up.
On the same day that Nielsen is all set to release its first data on what shows are being trending on Twitter, Facebook is getting set to extend its tv reports to foreign networks, according to two separate reports from the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
The new Nielsen report, which will be released for the first time on Monday, will give advertisers new insights into what shows are trending on Twitter by showing them how many tweets, and how big the audience for the show is on the social network.
What it will likely show is what we already knew: that shows like Breaking Bad, Community, Mad Men and Parks and Recreation may not kill in the ratings, but they have young, passionate fans that are truly engaged in the shows they watch.
Twitter hopes to show that, since those viewers are so passionate, that means that they are paying closer attention to both the show and the advertisements.
Meanwhile, Facebook is going to be releasing its own TV reports to networks overseas, in eight different countries.
Some of the stations that will be able to see them are TF1 in France, Channel 4 in the U.K., ARD in Germany, Esporte Interativo in Brazil and STAR networks in India.
This should make for an interesting showdown. Let's break it down to show what each side has been doing to lure TV advertisers
Twitter's TV efforts
This data is important to Twitter since, as it prepares to go public, it needs to prove the effectiveness of a Tweet in driving offline sales and advertising.
That is why Twitter, which sees television as a big monetization stream, has shown interest in luring in television ad dollars for a while now.
The company premiered its tv ad targeting software in beta mode in May, and then expanded to to all U.S. advertisers that run national television spots in July.
The technology allows advertisers to engage directly with people on Twitter who have been exposed to their ads on live television.
It works by identifying Tweets that correspond with that television show. Because the person was engaged enough to tweet about it, the company figures that they watched the ads as well (which, in all honesty, is a bit of a leap. It is more likely they were sending the tweets in question while the ads were playing). Twitter will then push out promoted tweets that extend those advertisements.
Twitter also recently purchased real-time TV data company Trendrr to help make those ads more relevant.
Facebook's TV efforts
Facebook, on the other hand, just recently got into the game, with the announcement that it is going to start sending out weekly reports to the big four television networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, along with a few other partners.
The reports will show the networks how much Facebook users are talking about their shows, including how many likes, comments and shares it generates.
Much like Twitter, Facebook obviously intends to plans use the reports to show advertisers that their shows are creating buzz in the social media world, and that that means they should also be advertising there.
Facebook reaffirmed its commitment to television advertising in the U.S. with the hiring of David Lawenda, who has experience in the ad departments at Univision, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting, as its new VP of Global Sales in the U.S.
Both Facebook and Twitter come with advantages and disadvantages when trying to lure in advertisers.
While Twitter has the advantage of its data coming at more of real time pace, hence its tv ad targeting software, it loses to Facebook in the sheer number of people. Facebook has 1.2 billion users every month, Twitter has 215 million.
Both of these networks want those ad dollars, and it should be fun to watch the two compete head to head.
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