Twitter took another step forward in its quest to become a full-fledged media company on Monday, announcing a partnership with longstanding TV and consumer audience analytics company Nielsen to create a Twitter audience rating for TV programs, beginning with the start of the fall 2013 TV season. The rating is expected to take into account the number of tweets about specific programs and episodes.
"Ultimately, we have one goal for this new metric: to make watching TV with Twitter even better for you, the TV fan," wrote Twitter's Chloe Sladden in a blog post Monday. "I look forward to sharing more about this effort in the months to come."
The announcement from Nielsen also provides some new insight on Twitter's overall users, indicating that the social network has "more than 140 million active users," the same number Twitter gave in March for its sixth birthday, perhaps indicating that its growth has stalled or flatlined (Google Plus is catching up with a reported 135 million active users on its main website and apps, or "stream," as Google recently announced).
Overall, Nielsen thinks that Twitter has become integral to understanding a TV show's popularity. As Nielsen's official announcement on the new Twitter partnership states: "Twitter data [is] a necessity in producing standardized metrics representing online and mobile conversations about television."