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Sorry, Facebook -- Twitter Plays Keep-Away With Analytics Firms

A pair of Twitter acquisitions comes with the added benefit of keeping them out of Facebook's hands.

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Day by day, Twitter is getting better at measuring how we talk about TV on Twitter.

Twitter announced on Monday it had acquired SecondSync and Mesagraph, two of the biggest TV analytics firms based out of Europe that track social chatter around television broadcasts.

That move comes along with a new partnership with Kantar Media, a company that is essentially trying to create a TV chatter measurement standards system, much like the deal Twitter already has with Nielsen in the United States.

It’s all part of a larger strategy of collecting data on who’s watching TV while using Twitter — information that’s valuable for marketers who want to run high-dollar ad campaigns on Twitter.

But the acquisitions come with another added benefit: Keeping Facebook from doing the exact same thing.

The three biggest U.S. players in the social TV chatter space are gone. Nielsen bought SocialGuide a while back, and Twitter’s monster acquisition of BlueFin Labs brought the company in-house to use those valuable data collection tools on Twitter audiences only.

And not coincidentally, just weeks after Facebook released a very flattering study on its TV chatter stats in conjunction with analytics startup Trendrr, Twitter bought that company up, too.

Same thing happened with SecondSync, one of the latest Twitter acquisitions. Just two months ago, SecondSync released a study on Facebook chatter around TV.

I highly doubt Twitter is buying up these startups solely to play whack-a-mole with Facebook’s M&A team. That would be an unsustainable (and fairly dumb) strategy.

Here’s the thing: If Twitter can deliver that measurable data to domestic advertisers — and now, with SecondSync and Mesagraph, internationally — it’ll give the company a much better pitch to marketers with ad dollars to spend. Cutting Facebook out of that loop? Icing on the cake.

In other words, now that Facebook is ramping up its social TV efforts, it’s only going to get more cutthroat from here. Expect more moves like this in the future.

This article originally appeared on

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