Second Screen: How Twitter and Facebook Can Do Better

Real-time engagement is the key to taking advantage of the second screen.

Apr 1, 2014 at 12:05PM

The ability of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to facilitate real-time conversations during television shows have made them virtual prime-time town pubs. My colleague Tim Beyers has even called Twitter the "new TV Guide."

Twitter reaffirmed its premier standing as a big-time boob-tube complement this week with the expansion of its partnership with research firm Kantar. Besides bringing Twitter's "TV ratings" to even more regions of the world, this also marks the start of a program to make better use of the real-time data generated by Twitter's users.

That said, could Facebook and Twitter be doing even more to actually monetize all this social-media buzz? Our roving reporter Rex Moore was in Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest Interactive conference, and spoke with one of the foremost experts in this field.

Jesse Redniss, chief strategy officer for Mass Relevance, co-hosted "How to Monetize the 2nd Screen Evolution," a discussion at SXSW that explored how TV networks, brands, and third-party apps profit from this evolving consumer experience.

Redniss said Twitter and Facebook are both focused on finding new ways to create or optimize second-screen opportunities within the stream, adding that it comes down to identifying real-time interaction that drives consumer engagement.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Jesse Redniss: Figuring out new ways in which Twitter and Facebook could really optimize or add opportunities within the stream is, I think, a huge focus for them right now. What they're really looking to do is launching their dynamic card business.

On Twitter there are the image cards, there are the video cards, and they've started rolling out -- and we started seeing some of the very first ones during the Oscars -- interactive cards, in which you can engage in the actual card, answering a trivia or a poll, or seeing a synchronized image experience happening that could be a synchronized second-screen experience.

As Twitter starts looking into innovating their advertising products, it's not so much just about promoted tweets and sponsored tweets. It's also about creating that great, engaging content experience that can be brought to you and integrated with a brand, directly in the stream for Twitter.

Facebook can do very much the same thing too, in which they're identifying real-time engagement happening on their platform, and it's a massive platform right now. They're starting to get really good at identifying those real-time moments, so now it's about how you target people in real time, on the Facebook platform, and create great storytelling and content experiences too.

It's not always just so much about the ad unit that's around it, or going into your stream, but making the content an ad experience that the consumer is going to want to engage with.

Rex Moore owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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