ABC rang in huge Nielsen numbers for its ABC News/Facebook debates Saturday night. But we’re more interested in the fact that ABC is claiming that more than a million Facebook users have downloaded ABC News’ U.S. Politics application.
We were sceptical from the start of the deal. And were more sceptical as we watched ABC News try to cater to Facebook nation with lowbrow surveys (sample head-scratcher: should marijuana be legalized?). But looks like it worked.
In early December, ABC’s Facebook app was being downloaded at a pace of 10k per week; then something happened. What was it? Barack Obama’s upset win in Iowa last week? Obama, after all, is the undisputed king of Facebook, with 206k “friends” this week, up 19.6% from last week and more than triple Hillary Clinton’s 61k?
Meanwhile, we are just as surprised by ABC’s ratings for both debates: 9.36 million tuned in for the Democrats and 7.35 million for the Republicans according to Nielsen Media Research on what is usually a sleepy Saturday night. Previous attempts to tie youth-oriented web hits (YouTube and MySpace) with Presidential politics have generated underwhelming numbers. What was different this time around?
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