80% of Facebook TV chat comes from mobile while up to a quarter of viewers interact during shows, TV analytics report reveals

Up to a quarter of viewing TV audiences post about programmes on Facebook while they are on air and 80 per cent of TV-related chatter on the social network comes from a mobile device, a report from Facebook shows.

Report: The study revealed insights into Facebook interactions

The study from Facebook in partnership with TV analytics company Second Sync, is the first of its kind to pull together a wealth of insights about how users of the social networks interact during TV programmes. The figures represent insights from TV audiences across the UK, US and Australia.

The report found that 24 per cent of the TV audience which tuned in to the Breaking Bad finale on US TV posted on Facebook about the show. It showed different trends and patterns of behaviour from viewers depending on the type of programme, with ITV’s X-Factor final, for example, prompting a lesser 10 per cent of the viewing audience to chat on Facebook.

The study also revealed that less than two-thirds (60 per cent) of interactions happen during a television programme, with the rest accounting for conversations outwith actual airtime.

Alex North, Facebook’s head of measurement partnerships, EMEA, told The Drum: “This is the first time that we’ve really opened up our data in this way and it’s something that the industry has been asking for. We are now a public platform by nature and so they want more understanding on how people are using the platform, particularly at the moment around TV discussions.

“Forty per cent of discussion happens outside of the broadcast, and that has real implications for marketers in terms of how they might use social media alongside a traditional platform like TV if they’re sponsoring that programme, advertising on it or have a product placed in it. This sort of analytics really helps broadcasters understand levels of engagement but also has implications for advertisers, who are trying to leverage the synergy effects of both platforms.”

Key insights from the report included mobile use, with 80 per cent of users posting from a mobile device. The majority of interactions were likes (67 per cent), followed by comments (21 per cent) and stand alone posts (11 per cent). However, TV conversations did not throw up much shareable content, with shares accounting for only one per cent of interactions analysed.

“It’s really useful seeing the dynamics at play and understanding that mobile is a key driver, understanding that there is a lot of discussion during the programme but also outside of the programme,” North continued. “I think the main points brands and marketers will take are firstly the breakdowns of discussion on Facebook. Until now there have only a very small amount of public discussion from Facebook that they’ve been able to access. What we’re looking at here is the totality of discussion. The scale of this is something we haven’t been able to share in the past.”

Andy Littledale, managing director of Second Sync, added: “This is the biggest release of Facebook social TV data to date. Our analysis, using Second Sync’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 UK and US.”

The study also found that sport was a huge driver of engagement, with the 2014 Super Bowl generating 185 million Facebook interactions from 50 million unique users.

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