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Twitter exec: What TV and social will learn from the Olympics

Twitter’s brand new head of TV, Fred Graver wrote a blog post on Sunday — which he clearly labeled as his own opinions — about some of the lessons he expects will come out of the 2012 Olympics for both TV and social media. As we all know, this is the first “social media Olympics,” and along with it comes one of the biggest struggles in social TV: the time delay. I’ve excerpted several of Graves’ remarks here, but please check out his post.

- You can’t stop it, so embrace it: “The Olympics are an intense demonstration of what’s become a fact of life: we get our news from Twitter,” he explains, adding that not all of it has been positive. “I love that NBC has embraced that, ” he says, linking this story on NBC’s response to the #NBCFail tweets.

- Spoilers may not hurt TV ratings, in fact, they may help: “I don’t think people decided not to watch the episode of Mad Men where (spoiler alert, if you haven’t watched this season) Joan slept with the guy from Jaguar?” he says. “On Saturday night, NBC had killer ratings, despite everyone knowing that Lochte beat Phelps.”

- Viewers are now valuable participants: “There ARE experts online. One effect I’d love to see: Better questions from the correspondents after a race is run!” Graver writes.

- Is Twitter driving tune-in? ” Is there a revenue number that can be tied to heightened social media activity?” he asks, mirroring what every social TV person would love to nail down with certainty. Perhaps by the next Olympics, we’ll have a metric the industry believes in.

One thing’s for sure, the 2012 Olympics are spurring great conversations about the future of media. Have an opinion? Let us know in comments below…

(Full disclosure: I work for Breaking News, which is part of the NBC News Digital Network. But I have absolutely nothing to do with Olympics coverage.)

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