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Twitter, Bluefin, and the True Start of the Social TV Age

by Mediaocean Marketing
February 07, 2013

Twitter’s acquisition of Bluefin Labs is the latest in a string of moves designed to put the micro-blogging behemoth at the center of the quickly-growing Social TV movement.  (Other moves include a partnership with Nielsen to provide Twitter-driven TV ratings, and the appointment of television writer/producer Fred Graver to a newly created “Head of TV” position.) According to Bluefin’s own Tom Thai, VP of Marketing and Business Development, “The proliferation of smartphones and tablets helped drive triple-digit growth in TV-related social media tweets and status updates in 2012. Multiscreen consumer behavior is driving the growth of social TV.”  Clearly, Twitter wants to be a big part of that growth, and is positioning itself accordingly. (Either that, or it just really likes Homeland.)

Here’s what experts are saying about the deal:

“[The acquisition] validates the value of social analytics. Twitter needs to prove to advertisers that they are a great place to spend media dollars at scale, so Bluefin makes perfect sense for them.” - Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights

“Twitter would like to be able to show exactly how to complement buying Twitter with buying TV. Without question, Bluefin has the most robust analytics around using Twitter feeds and Twitter data tied into TV viewing.”-David Morgan, founder of Simulmedia

“Twitter wants and needs to continue to prove its value as a place for brands and media companies to invest marketing dollars. Bolstering the company’s arsenal of measurement and analytics capabilities is one way of doing that at scale,” - Mike Proulx, director of digital strategy at Hill Holliday, a Boston ad agency, and co-author of the book Social TV.

“What sets BlueFin apart is that it has encoded and fingerprinted a vast library of TV and uses semantic technology developed at MIT to match conversation in social media to content in shows and in ads. Twitter could conceivably, then, target ads to that content, rather than just to keywords, as well as provide very granular data on how the ads fared.”- Cotton Delo, AdAge