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Nielsen to track TV viewership on mobile devices through FB

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MUMBAI: With changing times, researchers want to know more than what people are watching on their TV screens. They now want to know what people are viewing, on the go.

Nielsen, a research company, has announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook to know what TV viewers are watching on their tablets and other mobile devices. The agency currently tracks TV viewing habits through peoplemeters.

By the end of this year, Facebook will send aggregated data on the age and gender of users watching TV shows on their smartphones and tablets to the research agency. Facebook is said to have been working with Nielsen under strong privacy principles.

In the past, Facebook had came under much criticism for a research activity it had conducted in 2012 on anonymous users by modulating the user feed to elicit certain types of emotions from them.

"The world is shifting radically, and so we had to evolve our measurement so that we could capture all of this fragmented viewing," said Nielsen EVP Cheryl Idell to LA Times.

When device users will watch TV shows on apps that have Nielsen ‘software meter’ embedded, they will be notified about their views being counted unless they wish to opt out. However, Facebook insists that this will be an anonymously collected data that will be shared with Nielsen.

The double-blind study involves Nielsen assigning numbers to names of TV shows and giving it to Facebook which will then aggregate the age and gender of the users that have seen a specific show. Nielsen claims that Facebook won’t be aware of which numbers relate to which shows while the social networking site claims that the study will not influence any type of online advertising displayed in users’ feeds.

However, the data will be used by advertisers to better target majority of mobile watchers for ads that are inserted within shows.

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