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One need only look at the trending topics on any given evening to know that Twitter is a popular tool for discussing television shows.

The network has become the go-to forum for reaction to TV programmes and is one of the few things that ensures people still watch live TV rather than relying on on-demand services.

However a new report suggests that Facebook may also be a popular talking shop for TV shows.

This is a topic we’ve previously discussed in articles looking at why Facebook can’t beat Twitter for social TV and a best practice post on driving live engagement.

But the new report suggests we may have been wrong to dismiss Facebook’s potential for TV chatter, with up to a quarter of the television audience posting content related to the show they are watching on Facebook.

And as we’ve come to expect from social media users, 80% of this chatter comes from a mobile device.

It’s worth pointing out that this report was published by Facebook in partnership with SecondSync, so there are clearly some vested interests to be aware of, however the analysis does seem to hold water.

A minute-by-minute breakdown of aggregated TV-related Facebook interactions shows that the majority of activity happens during the show and there are peaks of activity that map directly to key events in the telecast.

These graphs show how people reacted to an NFL playoff game and the X Factor UK final.

A separate report on Twitter usage, which was also published in partnership with SecondSync, reveals similar peaks in tweets during TV shows.

In 2012 The X Factor drove more than 14m tweets throughout the entire series, with 1.12m coming during the final show.

The eventual winner, James Arthur, was mentioned 387,000 times compared to 86,000 mentions for Jahmene Douglas.

Spikes in Twitter activity during X Factor 2012 final

Types of engagement

Looking at the types of interactions that take place on Facebook, ‘likes’ are easily the most common form of activity followed by comments. This is to be expected as ‘likes’ are the easiest and most non-committal form of interaction that it’s possible to do.

This chart shows how interactions were spread across The Sound of Music Live TV show:

The report is based on analysis of anonymised data collected from a range of relevant search terms. Download the report for the full methodology and results. 

David Moth

Published 10 February, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1690 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Re: " up to a quarter of the television audience posting content related to the show they are watching on Facebook".

Not quite. I've checked through the methodology and I don't see how the researchers know that the people posting are the same as the people watching. Especially as the data from Facebook was anonymized.

So I think the true situation is closer to, "[people equivalent to] up to a quarter of the television audience posting content related to the show they [or their friends] are watching, on Facebook".

almost 3 years ago

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