Facebook making people cling to TV

CANNES: Whoever said Facebook and others of its ilk were responsible for driving audiences away from television would be forced to do a rethink after this gem of a revelation from Facebook VP of partnership, Dan Rose.

“Facebook now talks of television. And discussions or comments between friends are more about content aired on television,” said Rose in his keynote address on the inaugural day of Mipcom.

And it didn’t end there. He went on to announce: "We have expanded our list of data partners across the globe."

Among the ten global TV companies with whom Facebook has partnered is Star India for beta test- this being its first partnership in India. Says Star India, EVP marketing and communications Gayatri Yadav: Star India will be the first media brand in India to partner with Facebook as part of a beta to use their APIs in our programming. The goal is to work closely with Facebook to develop this offering and leverage this tool to gain rich insights into social conversations on Facebook related to our content. Today the first port of call for consumers when they want to talk about content is often social media people love sharing their thoughts and feelings about the latest shows online. This will help us better understand audience reactions to programming and deliver better real time consumer insight."

The other networks include: TF1, Esporte Interativo, Canal+, CBC, Food Network, Channel 4, ProSieben, and Discovery.”

Rose explained how social media had become an inseparable part of television. “There is now an intersection of social media and TV. In fact, now, TV is leveraging new technology to improve its experience with social media,” he said, while addressing a packed auditorium at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.

Referring to Facebook as the second screen, Rose said: “So while everyone thought we were driving people away from TV, the second screen is in fact making them cling to TV.”

Substantiating his statement with facts, Rose elaborated: “There were 29 million interactions on Facebook about Wimbledon. When MTV Video Music Awards was aired, there were 26.5 million interactions about the awards on Facebook. Also, NBA finals received close to 125 million interactions.”

Statistically speaking, there are 1.15 billion people on Facebook today. An average mobile user in the US spends approximately 14 hours every month on FB and nearly six hours on Instagram. 18 million people in France are active users of Facebook, of which 11 million use mobile phones for it.

Asked what keeps Facebook alive and ticking, Rose said: “There are three best practices to follow: One, to spark the conversation. Facebook has added #Hashtags and also come up with trending topics to spark conversations. Two, we connect with fans through public figures. People on Facebook love hearing from public figures. And thirdly, leverage tools. We launched public feed API that gives real time feed of public posts.”

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