Twitter is trying to strengthen its association with real-time TV viewing after acquiring two European social TV firms, Parisian firm Mesagraph and the London-based SecondSync.
Details of the terms were not confirmed, but both the companies, which provide analytics to broadcasters and advertisers about how people engage with television, will be working out of Twitter's London office.
The two firms have valuable connections to the TV industries in their home nations, as well as links to other companies working in "social TV" – where people watch TV and comment on it on social networks at the same time. Purchasing SecondSync has an additional benefit for Twitter: in January, the company announced a partnership with Facebook to provide analytic data to the social network. Twitter has nipped that relationship in the bud.
"Twitter is the only place that hosts a real-time, public conversation about TV at scale," said SecondSync in a post confirming the acquisition. "By joining Twitter, we will be able to help take that experience, in concert with the rest of the TV ecosystem, to the next level – particularly in markets outside the US. Our current UK product will continue to be available for an interim period."
As well as the acquisitions, Twitter has extended a partnership with international market research firm Kantar. The two companies began working together to develop a suite of analytics tools for the British TV industry in August 2013, and expanded to cover Spain in October.
The new five-year agreement will see the firms sharing data and tools to better understand social TV trends. "Twitter plays host to a real-time, public conversation at scale on all manner of topics— including television,” said Twitter's chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani. "We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Kantar beyond media measurement, to other areas that impact their clients."
Both the acquisitions and the partnership with Kantar strengthen Twitter's dominance of the "second screen": TV viewers who use social media while watching programmes. The new analytic tools also improve the firm's offering to advertisers, allowing them to, for instance, only promote a tweet onto the timelines of users who were watching a certain programme.
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