Despite Growing Competition, Twitter Leads Social TV Wave

When marketers discuss social TV and growing trends involving second screens, they are often thinking Twitter, which has become synonymous with the sharing of TV-related content. Last week we reported that Twitter had acquired social TV tracking service Trendrr in a deal that further consolidates the social TV monitoring market. Understanding social TV is rapidly becoming vital to marketers. Earlier this year, Twitter purchased social analytics firm Bluefin Labs, and Nielsen acquired SocialGuide.

When ETCentric reported about the Trendrr acquisition, we noted that Twitter clearly views television as a major component of its monetization strategy.

“In fact, the company recently announced a feature that will allow advertisers to target Twitter ads at users who just saw their TV commercials,” reports TechCrunch. “The feature was based on technology from Bluefin Labs, the social analytics company that Twitter acquired earlier this year.”

Additionally, a recent Nielsen study suggests that significant Twitter activity helps drive buzz about programming and can subsequently increase live television viewership.

And while we are witnessing a proliferation of second-screen apps and services — such as GetGlue, Viggle, Miso and IntoNow — the gap between Twitter and competitors in the social TV space seems to be widening.

“Social TV’s much-heralded (and well-funded) standalone apps hardly pose a threat,” reports Digiday. “GetGlue says 4 million users have registered for its service to date, while Viggle boasts 3 million. Twitter is approaching 600 million registered users. GetGlue says it has generated 800 million check-ins to TV shows, movies and sporting events in its existence, while Viggle has attracted 250 million. By comparison, Twitter recorded a whopping 24 million tweets about this year’s Super Bowl during the four-hour game alone.”

“Twitter is the only real second-screen TV app for now,” according to Gene Liebel, co-founder of Work & Co and former chief strategy officer at Huge.

“For now, Twitter is bigger than everything else. It has more traction,” added Alan Wolk, global lead analyst at digital video services provider Piksel.

Facebook is the other major player in social TV, but the social network does not share the same open forum as Twitter, which has a better potential to host large-scale public conversations around a TV event.

“Until social TV platforms can figure out a way to tap into the conversations, tastes and actions of millions of people at any one time, the data, insights and ad opportunities they can offer probably won’t come close to Twitter’s,” suggests Digiday. “For that reason alone, Twitter continues to provide the most interesting opportunity when it comes to social TV.”

Related News:
Twitter Boosts its Social TV Arsenal with Trendrr Acquisition, ETCentric, 8/30/13
Twitter May Be Increasing Viewership for Live TV Broadcasts, ETCentric, 8/28/13
Facebook is Wooing Celebs to Out-Twitter Twitter, Mashable, 9/4/13
GetGlue Thinks it Has Fighting Chance Against Twitter, Facebook in Social TV, Variety, 9/5/13