Facebook takes a stab at Twitter with international TV partnerships

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You may have heard about Facebook’s latest plans to compete with Twitter help broadcasters get some idea of how its users react to their shows, which involves delivering customised reports to four of the United States’ biggest networks. Turns out it’s not just a US-only offer: the social network is reportedly set to roll out the same service to networks from India to Brazil.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will be offering weekly reports on how many likes, comments, shares and posts television broadcasts have been generating (and how many people were talking about a show) to ten networks in eight countries. These include France’s TF1, the UK’s Channel 4, Germany’s ARD, Esporte Interativo in Brazil and STAR networks in India. As part of the deal, these stations will start receiving aggregate anonymised data about the conversations around their specific television shows, even including updates that aren’t publicly available and may have been hidden by users’ privacy settings.

The move, which is expected to be officially announced later today, would see Facebook take another step towards dominating the second screen. It has recently been rolling out changes that broadcasters can take advantage of, including publicly searchable hashtags and the release of media tools to help make it easier to use Facebook to display real-time results about a trending keyword or topic in their shows. With its large international user base (more than 80% of its 699-million daily active users log in from outside the US and Canada), Facebook is more widely used than Twitter, a rival which has also been making considerable inroads into making sure it’s the service you use when you sit down in front of your TV.

In its SEC filing, Twitter admitted that a much higher percentage of internet users in the US are on Twitter than those overseas (it had just 169-million monthly active users outside the US in June), although it expects to see higher than average growth in countries like Argentina, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa in the future. However, at the moment, a substantial majority of its advertising revenue comes from brands using its promoted products in the US.

The insight social networks can offer broadcasters into how their shows are being received — and which types of ads would do well to capitalise on trends in conversation — could make them more likely to hand over the cash for promoted tweets or sponsored posts. So far though, it seems Facebook could be getting the upper hand when it comes to networks outside its home country.



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