Twitter wrote in its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that “45% of television ads shown during the Super Bowl used a hashtag to invite viewers to engage in conversation about those television ads on Twitter.”
Twitter’s public nature makes it an especially attractive platform for tracking live-TV conversations. So much so that Nielsen recently began using Twitter’s data to measure online social activity around TV programming, starting with this fall’s TV season.
Some 19 million people tweet about TV shows, a 24 percent increase from last year. The audience measurement firm also found that many people read tweets about TV shows while they watch them — even if they don’t post anything themselves. As a result, Nielsen says the Twitter TV audience for an average episode is 50 times larger than the number of people who are Tweeting about a show.
Separately, Nielsen found that the “Breaking Bad” finale was by far the most tweeted-about program last week.
On Sunday, the NFL showed just how Twitter-enabled promotions work. Minutes after Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones intercepted New England’s Tom Brady, ending the quarterback’s streak of 52 games with a touchdown pass, the NFL posted a video clip on Twitter. The clip shows Jones bobbling, and then snagging the ball before it hits the ground.
The 32-second clip was prefaced by an 8-second video ad for a Verizon Droid mobile phone. “Adam Jones ends the Pats undefeated season, Brady’s TD streak AND a rainstorm. With 1 INT,” the league tweeted.
By inserting itself into the online buzz, the NFL was able to remind people the game was going on live at its NFL Network channel. Meanwhile, it earned new revenue from Verizon, a longtime sponsor that wanted to showcase its NFL Mobile app.
The NFL has more than 5.1 million followers on Twitter. But its new partnership with Twitter means the tweet also went out to millions of other users who might be interested.