Sure, slapping hashtags all over TV content and commercials helps drive platform growth and usage. And getting your Tweets or Facebook activity recognized on TV is a nice pat on the back for users. But the real reason they are racing after TV is far bigger than their data or users.
It's about building the bridge from broadcast to digital branding. And tapping into the revenue that comes wtih it
TV delivers a rich branding message to masses of watchers. Digital alone does not. Branding dollars are big money. The transition of branding spend to digital platforms is driving digital share of spend and digital video spend in particular.
To serve as a bridge from broadcast to to digital branding, Facebook and Twitter must learn to use their strengths (conversations and network intimacy) as bridges to broadcast branding. I don't believe that either Facebook or Twitter has really cracked social branding, but they don't need to have the golden platform to build the bridge. For today, all they need to do is offer the best user, broadcaster and marketer integration possible. They can figure out their native monetization as it goes.
The transition to integrated branding will take time. In the interim, advertisers and broadcasters are looking for a bridge into digital. And Facebook and Twitter want to be that bridge.
May the best platform win.