Facebook has teamed up with Nielsen to monitor how its users watch TV via their mobile devices in the US, as the social network continues to ramp up its appeal to mobile advertisers.
Under the new scheme, Facebook will use Nielsen demographics data about its users who watch TV shows on digital devices.
Facebook hopes that by matching what TV shows Americans like with personal characteristics, such as age and gender, marketers can create better-targeted, more-efficient ads.
The data will expand greatly beyond Nielsen’s established TV viewing audience of 55,000 people in the U.S. who report their habits. For decades, Nielsen has recruited families to log what they watched at home and report back to Nielsen.
Now, Nielsen is expanding beyond the family unit and beyond the TV set with help from Facebook and other data aggregators.
Both companies say there are procedures in place to protect user privacy.
“The world is shifting radically, and so we had to evolve our measurement so that we could capture all of this fragmented viewing,” said Cheryl Idell, a Nielsen executive vice president.
By teaming up with Facebook, Nielsen gains a window into the demographics of the audience using digital devices — even if the users are not part of Nielsen’s regular sample audience of 55,000 people in the U.S. Nielsen also is using information from Experian Marketing Services, which gathers troves of data on Americans, to learn more about this on-the-go audience.
Nielsen and Facebook say they designed the process in a way that shields people’s identities.