Today Twitter announced that it’s developing a new metric to measure the reach of programming across members as part of a new relationship with Nielsen.

Through the new partnership, the two companies will create the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, a syndicated industry-standard metric based entirely on Twitter data, not the Nielsen boxes that are placed in US households.

“The Nielsen Twitter TV rating will serve the complement Nielsen’s existing TV ratings, giving TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity,” explained Nielsen in a press release.

The use of social networks, particularly Twitter, while watching television has become very popular over the past couple of years — especially during live broadcast events. The new rating will better measure the social popularity of television programming.

“Our users love the shared experience of watching television while engaging with other viewers and show talent,” stated Twitter’s VP of media Chloe Sladden. “Twitter has become the world’s digital water cooler, where conversations about TV happen in real time.”

The new rating is expected to be made available in the fall of 2013. We imagine that more Twitter hashtags will begin appearing in TV programs between now and then.

[Via: The Next Web, Image credit: theGsayeth]