Twitter Buys Social TV Company Bluefin
The interaction between television and social media is a rapidly growing one. Institutions, such as Wharton, are at the forefront of this with their social TV lab, which aims to explore how social media impacts our television watching, and indeed how it can influence the production of TV shows.
The private sector are also heavily involved in this burgeoning industry, and none more so than Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company that was founded in 2008.
Bluefin Labs hit the news today, after it emerged that it will soon be acquired by Twitter. Initial rumors suggest the price is around the $100 million mark, although Twitter has not confirmed the price they paid.
The move marks an increasing level of collaboration between television and social media, and in particular with Twitter. Recent events, such as the Super Bowl, have been the most social television events of all time. Bluefin revealed that the Super Bowl received over 30 million mentions across social media, double of what was achieved last year.
Twitter also announced a tie-up with TV ratings company Nielsen in December to produce the first ever social TV ratings. The ratings will use a standard metric, and reflect how many times a program is mentioned on Twitter. They'll be available for commercial use during the fall 2013 TV season.
All of these developments point to a growing symbiosis between Twitter and television. Viewers are increasingly watching their favourite shows with Twitter open on a second screen, so there is a growing level of real-time conversation during shows.
When stand-out moments happen on TV, spikes in related conversation happen on Twitter. In fact, according to Second Sync, 40% of all UK Twitter traffic at peak TV viewing time is about TV.
Bluefin Labs offers detailed reports about which brands are discussed most on social media. It can provide Twitter with the ammo it needs to hook advertisers by showing who needs to spend money to up their social media status, and who needs to spend money to maintain their places at the top.