Dubbed BrandLift, it will launch in the U.S. with select test partners this week and will be rolled out to all Facebook advertisers in the coming months, the companies said in a statement released early this morning.
They said the research utilizes "opt-in" polls on Facebook's homepage to measure consumer attitudes and purchase intent from display advertising that has appeared on the site.
Nielsen said the research will measure "aided awareness, ad recall, message association, brand favorability and purchase consideration" via a set of short, specially designed one or two question surveys.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, nor the cost associated with Nielsen or Facebook clients participating in the program, but Nielsen said it would conduct "hundreds" of Nielsen BrandLift tests over the coming months.
"The frequency of the surveys will be carefully controlled to limit any one user from being asked to participate too often. No personally identifiable information will be collected as part of this program," Nielsen said.
This is not the first time Nielsen has experimented with social media to conduct media research online. A couple of years ago, Nielsen mounted its own quasi social network, dubbed "Hey! Nielsen" and amassed a considerable user group base that supplied Nielsen with their views on a wide range of media, entertainment, advertising and personality subjects. After conducting the research as part of an open forum, Nielsen mysteriously pulled the plug on the social media platform, and never disclosed to its users what became of that research.
Nielsen Online CEO John Burbank and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, are scheduled to discuss the new alliance via a live webcast at 11 a.m. (EST) today at www.facebook.com/marketing.