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Facebook Wants You Talking About the World Cup -- So Advertisers Can Find You


Ivica Drusany /
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Twitter has done a good job of convincing TV programmers and advertisers that it’s the best place to find people chatting about TV. Facebook has spent the last year trying to catch up.

Now we can see one of the reasons why: Mark Zuckerberg’s company is planning a big push around this summer’s World Cup.

Facebook wants people talking about the giant soccer tournament, and is telling advertisers they will be able to target people who get excited about the games, even if they’re not explicitly fans.

As Ad Age reports, Facebook is pitching marketers on the idea that they can find “people who aren’t necessarily huge soccer fans but have been caught up in the excitement of the World Cup and started to post status updates or links to stories about the tournament.”

And if that works, expect to see a lot more: “The concept could be extended to the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Oscars, according to a person familiar with Facebook’s plans.”

The challenge for Facebook is that for now the site isn’t a place where people go to talk about TV, at least not in real time. Facebook has been trying to change that — hence its campaign to get famous people to talk about the Super Bowl — but for now, TV executives say they see much more chatter about their shows on Twitter than Facebook, even though Facebook has a much bigger user base.

Twitter, meanwhile, is trying to extend its lead, in part by making it harder for Facebook to break into TV.

This article originally appeared on

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