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Nielsen Tying Social Media Into New Ratings System

Nielsen is taking into account where more and more “Nielsen Families” live: on social media.

Yesterday (Jan. 20), the media research firm announced a collaboration with Facebook that will allow Nielsen to incorporate chatter about television programming on the platform into its ratings system. The metric, called “Social Content Ratings,” will also take into account similar activity on Twitter, The New York Times reported.

The outlet posits that the arrangement with Facebook is Nielsen’s latest attempt to respond to criticisms (from TV and advertising executives) that its traditional television ratings system has ceased to be an accurate representation of viewership, given that media is increasingly consumed on streaming services, such as Netflix, for example — which is not factored into Nielsen ratings.

“The development of Social Content Ratings reflects Nielsen’s commitment to continually adapt our services to meet the needs of the industry and is part of Nielsen’s ongoing effort to evolve our measurement to reflect the total audience across screens and platforms,” said Sean Casey, president of Nielsen Social, in a statement (shared by Los Angeles Times). “Nielsen Social measurement is evolving to provide a comprehensive, standardized picture of how consumers are responding to program content through social media, wherever and whenever.”

“As more and more of our TV partners explore new and creative ways to engage with fans during and after the broadcast, it’s critical that they are able to measure and analyze their efforts,” Facebook Media Partnerships Director Nick Grudin wrote in a blog post on Tuesday (Jan. 19), the day before Nielsen made its announcement. “Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings are a part of Nielsen’s effort to measure the total audience across screens and platforms. This standardized measurement will help our partners create even better experiences for their most passionate fans, and that’s really exciting to us.”

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