By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nielsen, the TV ratings provider, and Twitter, one of the fastest growing social networks, are joining forces to measure the social interaction of its users around certain television shows.

But how will it affect what is shown on television, or where companies put their advertising dollars?

“We don’t see it as being something that will become part of the transactional process between advertisers and sellers,” says Bernie Shimkus, director of research and consumer insight at Harmelin Media, the largest purchaser of advertising in Philadelphia.  “It will be more of kind of an indication of the popularity of shows, and it can be used for research, et cetera.”

Nielsen’s partnership with Twitter will augment metrics they use through the social analytics service Social Guide.   This new metric will act as a companion to the Neilsen TV ratings.

This morning Nielsen further expanded its empire by acquiring the radio ratings firm Abritron, so social radio ratings may also be coming soon.

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