Twitter has long been heralded as the path to social TV, with hashtags infiltrating live TV broadcasts, Twitter-based voting on reality shows, and Twitter being used as the “second screen” during prime time.

And now, Twitter is being used to measure TV ratings. Think this’ll be the end of Nielsen?

The Next Web has the scoop on Japanese TV audience ratings service Video Research’s plans to measure the volume of mentions of certain TV shows.

They will begin by measuring the volume of tweets related to programs per minute, as well as the average number of tweets sent over the previous four weeks.

There are about 29.9 million registered Twitter users in Japan, according to numbers from Semiocast, which is a sizable sample for this type of data.

Video Research has received Twitter’s blessing on the initiative, gaining access to Twitter’s API and hashtag streaming service.

Both Twitter and Video Research will be encouraging Japanese TV-viewers to tweet about their favorite programs using official hashtags, which will make ratings measurements more accurate. There will be hashtags related to TV stations as well as specific TV shows.

As Asiajin notes, TV stations in Japan use Video Research’s data to compete for advertising, so this Twitter initiative might encourage stations and advertisers alike to pay more attention to the conversations happening about their brands on social media.

(TV image via Shutterstock)