Tumblr claims greater social TV use than Twitter

Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr has staked its claim to the social TV crown after commissioning a study that showed the number of mentions of TV shows on its platform is greater than the number on Twitter.

According to the study from UK-based social data intelligence specialist Pulsar, Tumblr won out over its rival in social TV activity over a period from five days before the airing of a show until five days after. The study looked at activity around five shows aired late last year: Sherlock, Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, Sleepy Hollow and Malcolm in the Middle.

According to Pulsar, 70% of social mentions of the shows over the 11-day period before and after they aired happened on Tumblr, with the remainder on Twitter. Mentions on Twitter occurred immediately as the shows aired and faded quickly afterwards, while mentions on Tumblr continued at a high level for hours and days afterwards.

The study found that engagement on Tumblr peaked an hour after a show aired and remained at 43% of the peak level after 12 hours, while Twitter peaked at the time the show aired and declinef quickly in the one or two hours afterwards.

Mentions on Tumblr at the time a show aired numbered on average 120,000, falling to 39,100 after 12 hours. The number of mentions on Twitter at the time of airing averaged 620,000, but this fell to only 16,500 after 12 hours.

Twitter recorded 1.4 million total mentions of the shows at the time of airing, compared with 1.3 million for Tumblr. However, for mentions one day after the shows aired, Tumblr led with 697,000 to Twitter’s 181,000. The level of mentions on Tumblr remained steady at 636,000 two days after the shows aired and increased to 683,000 three days after the shows aired, while those on Twitter numbered 120,000 and 122,000 respectively.

In terms of overall unique users, Twitter topped Tumblr by the relatively narrow margin of 1.5 million compared with 1.4 million.

However, Tumblr claimed a deeper level of engagement, with 71% of interactions on the platform being driven by behaviours related to storytelling, creativity and community.

The study comes as Tumblr moves to capture a bigger share of advertising revenue around TV shows. The blogging platform currently offers more limited targeting opportunities than its rival, but recently struck a marketing partnership with Viacom aimed at advertisers and sponsors.

Yahoo acquired Tumblr for US$900 million last year.