Nielsen announced this week that it will include Facebook conversation for the first time as part of its Nielsen Twitter TV ratings, with plans to integrate Instagram sometime in the near future. Rebranded by Nielsen as its “Social Content Ratings” program, this new system will measure TV program conversation across both social networking services (Twitter and Facebook).

According to a press release put out by Nielsen, their Social Content Ratings program will be the first solution out there able to measure aggregate-level program related conversation and general discourse on both social media platforms, including posts shared privately between friends and family, those posts shared with followers, and post shared in the public domain. In today’s mobile age, with this program Nielsen will be better able to reflect the total watching audience across all screens and platforms. In addition, the goal is to be able to assess the effectiveness of social audience engagement strategies, so that program creators and markers can better understand (and leverage) the relationship between social media activity and actual tuning in to the program. The data collected will also help support agencies and advertisers in the realms of media planning and buying decisions.

The Social Content Ratings program will deliver standardized third-party tracking of program-related conversations in the following areas:

  • Social media authorship (such as posts and Tweets)
  • Social media engagement (comments, likes, shares, and other engagement with above posts)
  • Social media reach (the audience viewing the conversation and impressions)
  • Demographics (the age and gender of those involved in the conversation)

Nielsen projects that these expanded ratings will be commercially available in the first half of 2016. It is slated to be made available in the United States, Australia, Italy, and Mexico (the same markets where Nielsen Twitter TV ratings program is currently available). Program-related conversations will be measured for linear air times as well as on a twenty-four hour/day, seven days/week basis.

Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings program is designed to adhere to guidelines set in place by the Media Rating Council (MRC).


Matthies, Kevin. “Nielsen Brings Measuring Tape to Twitter and Facebook.” Mobile Marketing Watch. 1/21/16. (1/22/16.)

Nielsen. “Nielsen to Launch ‘Social Content Ratings’ with Measurement across Twitter and Facebook.” 1/20/16. (1/22/16.)