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How Facebook is Tapping TV for “Portal”

On September 28, Facebook revealed a breach of personal data for some 50 million users, which also included data from whatever sites users authenticated in using Facebook. Just a few weeks later, it launched Portal- a video-centric device “with Alexa built in.”

But rather than lay low and roll out the product using its own reach and data-rich targeting while the privacy furor dies down, Facebook went in the opposite direction and did something big brands do when they want to get word out quickly: it turned to TV advertising.

And not just in some small fashion. In just about a month, Facebook has spent more than a million a day ($45 million since Oct 14th) generating 1.4 billion TV impressions, according to iSpot.tv , the real-time ad measurement company. That’s a lot of “touches” to TV households where 71% of viewers are over age 35.

Below are some charts showing how the spending is ramping up ahead of Black Friday, who those viewers are and how the network is targeting TV.



Perhaps more interesting is HOW Facebook will utilize the reach and experience of this device. It’s brought in Alexa and right now is pitching itself as a social device. But that will probably transform. Yesterday it integrated YouTube and now it has a place to promote its Watch series and both lean back and next-gen connective experiences like co-viewing.

When compared to iPads, its reach is nothing. But when you start looking at this like a smaller, smarter smart TV, things get a lot more interesting. More on that in a later post.