Facebook study shows what TV viewers are doing during commercial breaks

Television viewers aren’t just tuning out during commercial breaks, they’re picking up their smartphones to check Facebook.

The tech firm examined the Facebook activity of 537 people who said they watched the season premiere of a popular TV show. During commercials, their Facebook activity spiked.

Facebook illustrated the activity in this graph:

As more social media companies beef up their live video efforts, television networks are also facing more competition for a viewer’s attention.

Social media companies are trying to convince marketers that spending money on their platforms is worth their time.

Facebook says “smartphones are not tiny televisions” but represents a new medium for video advertising.

“Because people can watch virtually anything at any time, they’re only going to watch ads that grab their attention, reward their time, and are immediately relevant,” wrote Mark Rabkin, VP of Facebook’s Core Ads in a post about the topic. “As a consequence, even though aggregate ad view time is up, individual session times are down. People aren’t watching ads for as long as they used to, on any medium.”

Rabkin outlined some best practices for advertisers. Facebook, which has revealed before that it miscalculated ad metrics, is focusing on three areas as it moves forward, he said. That includes transparency, evolving its measurement tools and building new ways to tell stories.

Photo Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images





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