Twitter wants to dominate the Social TV market over Facebook and acquires Social TV startup Trendrr

Twitter acquires Social TV ratings company Trendrr

Twitter announced yesterday that it has acquired Social TV ratings company Trendrr. Trendrr was founded 5 years ago in New York in an attempt to use real-time conversation data, mainly from Twitter, to analyse the value of engagement around TV, and using this data to create a more compelling media experience around content.

Trendrr and Curatorr

The company provides a dashboard with the top programs and channels with most social activity around them. These insight around viewer engagement were later integrated in their TrendrrTV platform allowing clients like ABC, MTV and Telemundo to measure and understand social engagement around their content.

Trendrr.tv Analytics Dashboard

Trendrr’s Curatorr platform allows content creators to publish the real-time conversation and information streams into their content by being able search, fitler and publish Tweets from the ‘firehose’ of Twitter. The product was certified by Twitter in May 2013 and is now part of Twitters media offering. As founder Mark Ghuneim explains about the Twitter acquisition:

What makes Twitter uniquely compelling among these platforms is its connection to the live moment — people sharing what’s happening, when it’s happening, to the world. We think we can help amplify even stronger the power of that connection to the moment inside of Twitter.

Twitter and Social TV

Trendrr was one of the first companies that was able to analyse real-time conversations around TV on a large scale and provide compelling services to publishers. Another big player, Bluefin Labs, was acquired by Twitter on February 5th this year. And with an exclusive partnership with Nielsen to develop the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating Twitter has gained a strong position within the Social TV market. The acquisition of Bluefin Labs resulted in a new Twitter ad offering allowing publishers and advertisers to extend their TV commercial on Twitter. As Twitter describes in the blogpost:

TV ad targeting works by using video fingerprinting technology to automatically detect when and where a brand’s commercials are running on TV, without requiring that advertiser to do any manual tracking or upload media plan details. Whenever a commercial airs during a TV show, Twitter not only determines where and when it ran, but can identify users on Twitter who tweeted about the program where the ad aired during that program. We believe a user engaged enough with a TV show to tweet about it very likely saw the commercials as well.

An important step in differentiating their ad offering beyond demographics, locations and keywords. It’s one of the first attempts to integrate online advertising with TV advertising.

Facebook wants stronger Social TV position

In July this year Facebook announced it wants a stronger position in the film and television market, and launched a content group to work together with the sector. This collaboration aims to find how use Facebook’s data to gain more insights in the social conversation around TV and film on the platform. With the acquisition of Trendrr by Twitter, Facebook needs to act quickly to get a share in the social TV market which is expected to be worth $256.44 billion by 2017. And although it was Trendrr that announced that Facebook has five times more TV chatter than Twitter, most of this information is private and shared between friends. The value of Social TV metrics on Facebook might be more valuable but is much harder to understand. In blog post announcing the importance of Facebook in  Social TV conversations, Trendrr wrote: “Ultimately, Trendrr hopes to begin incorporating this Facebook data into its Social TV Rankings charts”, which doesn’t seem to happen anytime soon after its acquistion by Twitter.

Providing valuable TV analytics

Providing valuable TV analytics can be challenging, especially when the two largest Social TV companies are acquired by your competitor. Facebook has to prove it has more valuable data than Twitter and introducing hashtags won’t be enough. It will be interesting to see how Facebook will try to conquer the Social TV market. In a 2012 interview with Lost Remote Facebook’s head of entertainment strategy, Kay Madati, expressed the companies Social TV approach:

Facebook is the modern day iteration of the water cooler. Our users are already dialoguing around television. If the 90s were about browsing, if the new millennium was about search, today and into the future, we believe it’s about discovery. It’s structured around helping content producers surface their excellent content and leverage the idea that word-of-mouth at scale can raise brand awareness.

[…] Fundamentally, we’re not interested in being in the content game. We want to support and connect fans to engage with them.

The Facebook platforms provides many opportunities besides Social TV Analytics. It already has introduced TV check-ins and provides real-time conversations, combined with more detailed user profiles and a larger reach they might just be a few steps away from beating Twitter in the Social TV market.

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