Watching With Friends: SecondSync Analyzes TV-Related Interactions On Facebook


WatchingWithFriends650The partnership between Facebook and social TV analytics specialist SecondSync, announced in late January, bore its first fruit in the form of white paper Watching with Friends, which generated its findings from an analysis of several television shows from September 2013 through January 2014 in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Major findings of the research by Facebook and SecondSync included:

  • 60 percent of TV-related interactions on Facebook occur while the show is airing, in real-time.
  • 80 percent of TV-related chatter on the social network originates from mobile devices.
  • Different types of television fare result in different types of engagement (more on this below).

Facebook and SecondSync also examined the different characteristics of users’ TV-related engagement via status updates, comments, likes, and shares, finding that:

  • Posts are most closely aligned to real-time TV “events.”
  • The bulk of TV conversations are contained in comments.
  • Interactions from likes of TV-related content have a long tail of engagement.
  • Shares are used less in TV chatter than the other interaction types.

As mentioned above, the two companies also analyzed Facebook activity as it related to types of TV shows, finding:

  • Dramas generate a bookend pattern of engagement, with Facebook activity peaking at either end of the telecast.
  • Posts around competition shows map directly to performances.
  • Documentaries are a catalyst for posts that generate high volumes of conversation in comments.
  • Films are big drivers of social engagement. Iconic scenes from films tend to drive the biggest peaks in engagement.
  • Tabloid talk shows also drive real-time conversations with guests, generating significant Facebook reaction.

Facebook Head of Measurement Research and Development and Partnerships Fred Leach said in a release announcing the results of Watching with Friends:

The Watching with Friends paper offers a fascinating insight into how people use Facebook to talk about TV, offering a first glimpse into the scale and longevity of discussion before, during, and after the broadcast. This has valuable marketing implications, demonstrating trends by demographic and how mobile has become the key method of engagement. Marketers have been asking us for these insights, and we look forward to working with SecondSync to showcase more in this area.

SecondSync Managing Director Andy Littledale added:

This is the biggest release of Facebook social TV data to date. Our analysis, using SecondSync’s social listening technology and social TV expertise, provides an additional perspective on social TV behaviour — one that draws on Facebook’s rich demographics and broad reach. We are looking forward to working with Facebook to bring this data to market, initially in the U.K. and U.S.

And NBC Universal Senior Vice President, Digital and Broadcast Marketing Research Julie DeTraglia said:

In recent years, tracking TV-related social media conversations has become an important component of our audience research. However, up until now, we had no visibility into the ways people were engaging with our shows on Facebook, a broad social platform with tremendous scale. Having access to these new data will allow us to plan our social strategy more effectively and potentially help us understand how social conversations may affect ratings.

Readers: Did any of the findings by Facebook and SecondSync surprise you?