Nielsen and Twitter have struck a multi-year partnership to measure the reach of online conversations about television shows.
The new Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will do more than provide information about how many people have Tweeted about a particular show, a service that is already available from other measurement firms. It also seeks to quantify the number of people who've read each comment.
"It captures the whole audience of that conversation, not just the specific Tweeter," said Steve Hasker, president of global media products at Nielsen. "It's the only metric that gives you a holistic view of the earned media component around a TV program."
Social media platforms such as Twitter have emerged as the virtual water cooler, where people gather to discuss their favorite television shows (and other topics). Twitter has more than 140 million active users who send a billion Tweets every two and a half days.