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Facebook ‘Trending Unit’ New Player in Social TV Battle

Facebook-LogoAt the Lost Remote LA Show, Facebook poured cold water over the mantra that Twitter is the dominant force in social TV.

As our sister-site Inside Facebook reports, Facebook executive Kelly Davies Michelena touted Facebook’s social conversation as tops among second screen platforms.

But Facebook shot off another volley in the battle to own social TV at Mediabistro’s Lost Remote Show in Los Angeles on Friday. Said Kelly Davies Michelena, Strategic Partner Development of Broadcast for Facebook, in her opening remarks: “We have 5 times the social conversation around television than any other platform—combined.”

Michelana said Facebook now has a global team solely dedicated to social TV, a team that wasn’t in existence just six months ago. She also revealed Facebook’s upcoming “trending unit,” which will track the top trends through hashtags and keywords appearing at the top right of a user’s news feed:

I can’t talk too much about it. I’m in a beta version right now just being an employee and I’m a little bit obsessed with it. You can click on it and see not only what your friends are talking about, but what influencers are talking about. So it’s surfacing really great public conversations.

The Facebook executive also teased that their platform will increase its leveraging of celebrities, urging them to share real-time content for broadcasters to pick up: “You don’t see a lot of broadcasters bringing in what people are actually doing in real time,” Michelena said, offering Heidi Klum as an example:

Heidi Klum had Instagrammed what she was wearing to [a major awards] show. And I’m watching all this red-carpet coverage and up to 45 minutes later, people are still talking about what Heidi Klum might be wearing. No one was really paying attention to the fact that this is actually happening in real-time, and that would have been excellent to pull in on air.

How Facebook will compete with Twitter in real-time show integration is sure to be one of the top social TV storylines of 2014.

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