Social TV: Facebook Vs. Twitter Vs. Tumblr

Facebook has a perception problem in social television, where Twitter is entertainment's favorite platform.

Facebook has a perception problem in social television, where Twitter is entertainment’s favorite platform.

“Twitter is the first screen for a lot of people,” said United Talent Agency Agent Eric Kuhn. In two-screen experiences, where people are using their phones or tablets while watching TV, Twitter on their mobile devices drives their TV consumption.

TV executives mentioned Twitter constantly at the Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit in Marina Del Ray, Calif., Monday.

“I didn’t want to tweet about Netflix‘s ‘House of Cards’ because I didn’t want to spoil it for my friends,” ABC News Head of New Products Maya Baratz said.

Kuhn agreed, adding, “Yes. Most social activity was tweets like, ‘What episode are you on?,’ not, ‘Oh my God, this just happened,’ like for other TV series.” This Twitter focus shows the perception problem faced by Facebook.

Facebook And The TV Industry

Facebook Head of Entertainment Strategy Howie Stein said at the conference:

There is way more social TV activity happening on Facebook than Twitter. Twitter is everyone’s darling because it is easy for marketers to look at social TV data. If you look at a hashtag, you can see the volume.

Facebook is more of a closed off platform. Facebook’s challenge is to provide tools to give access to the conversation that happens on Facebook. Facebook can see our social TV activity in real-time, and the scale is undeniable. It’s just more challenging for TV networks to get social activity data from Facebook than from Twitter.

Facebook is providing insights and data in a more private way to TV executives. We want them to make their own judgment of whether the platform is doing what Twitter is supposedly doing.

Facebook has four times the influence of our competitors on TV show tune-in. Facebook wants to know how we can help you see that value in more private ways than Twitter.

Social TV Landscape

Most speakers agreed that Facebook’s social TV data is richer than what can be found on Twitter. Tumblr Entertainment Evangelist David Hayes explained social platforms for TV this way.

  • Twitter is where people say they are watching a show.
  • Facebook is where people say why they are watching a show.
  • Tumblr is where people express themselves by creating great content about a show.

Readers: Who do you think will win in social TV — Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr?