For the first time ever, television ratings aggregate Nielsen has studied Twitter usage to see if it has any effect on TV viewership. What it found was a “significant increase” in ratings 29 percent of the time for shows that were tweeted about, according to The New York Times.
There’s a twist, though: Nielsen and Twitter are actually business partners with a new metric called, oddly enough, Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.
“It is hard to distinguish whether Twitter [or other social media] activity simply reflects existing interest [the person talks about the show because of an interest in watching or plans to watch] rather than causes it,” University of Rochester professor Michael J. Lovett told the Times. In other words, what came first, the chicken or the egg? The tweet or the “Sharknado”?
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