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Facebook looks to become a second screen for television, but it's not there yet

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Dan Rose Facebook
Dan Rose Facebook

Dan Rose, VP of partnerships for Facebook, believes that Facebook can catch up to Twitter as a second-screen experience for television — but the company has a long way to go before it gets there. Rose insisted that the "hashtag is Instagram as much as it is Twitter," citing 54 million Super Bowl mentions and 20 million Grammy mentions on Facebook (to say nothing of the 600,000 #Nemo mentions on Instagram). However, Facebook is far from being the go-to mobile app for TV viewers.

To help solve that, Rose suggested today at the Dive into Media conference that Facebook would like to play a larger role in discovery. "Imagine a world in the future," Rose said, "where you turn on your TV, or maybe it's a second screen, and what you're seeing is a feed of all the shows your friends have watched." In that world, which Rose admits could still be "many years out," the static grid of shows most TVs show you would be replaced with a socially-aware list of shows your friends like.

It's all part of Facebook's efforts to expand how it presents partner content — Rose says where 2012 was a year for learning how to share music on Facebook, "2013, we think, is going to be the year of movies, book, fitness — those are categories that we're really excited about." Netflix plays into that, thanks mostly to the new law that allows Netflix to share movie recommendations on Facebook. As Facebook tries to bring more and more content into its Newsfeed, it will have to strike a fine balance between providing distribution for partners and direct consumption for users. For now, at any rate, Facebook seems content to keep the its own content mostly about people and leave media consumption to others.