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Dated: Aug. 22, 2013

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For many users of Twitter the common practice is to "tweet" on the social network while watching TV, but now for the first time it is confirmed the assumption that "tweeting" may increase the ratings of a show.
Twitter users who write about what they watch make others turn their receivers on and eventually join the discussion about a program, according to representatives of the agency Nielsen, which conducted the survey.

It turns out that 29 percent of messages on the popular network cause "significant increase" in rating, said Mike Hess,Vice President of Nielsen.

It was found that there is a connection in the opposite direction: rating affected the number of exchanged tweets on the subject of the shows in 48 percent of cases.

More than half of the owners of tablet computers and smartphones participate in activities on social media while watching TV, according to a separate survey.Twitter

Mitchell Lovett, a professor at the University of Rochester, who also studied the relationship between Twitter and television, says that the proving of this causal link has been always difficult.

"It is difficult to determine whether the activity on Twitter and other social media reflect current interest (people were talking about the show because they are interested in it and are planning to watch it)," Lovett says for the New York Times.

Nielsen and Twitter are business partners and jointly promote a new way of measuring online conversations about TV programs which will make some people doubt on the aforementioned results. The discovery will certainly delight the networks and marketing firms that have invested heavily in social media. Confirmation of the hypothesis that tweeting on Twitter cause a jump in rating of a TV program will bring in new hope to producers and advertisers that they will attract a mass audience whose attention is increasingly going to other screens.

To Twitter and Facebook it is not very favorable to increase television viewing time. The traditional media is still taking most of the advertising pie although television is no longer the main screen for most. According to the latest data, Americans spend more time on digital devices while watching TV. Therefore, a new strategy of social media is, " not against TV but plus TV."

Twitter has partnered with media companies to monitor what people are tweeting while watching certain shows, and on that basis they placed advertisements. Facebook announces video commercials of 15 seconds in the fall, the same ones that are shown on television, according to the Financial Times.

M.B.

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