Twitter: TV’s ‘Supercharger’

Social platform expands, strengthens link with television
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SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter wasn’t designed out of the chute to be a second-screen app for TV audiences, but it has evolved into one that “super charges” that content, Matthew Moroz, the social-media platform’s head of TV partnerships, said.

Twitter has forged a creative connection with TV through broad distribution and a growing set of social-media tools that now includes Vine and Periscope, Twitter’s mobile live streaming app, said Moroz, the Next TV Summit’s closing keynoter.

In addition to providing ways for programmers to market their shows and drive conversations with viewers, Twitter has also been able to add a new dimension to TV storytelling, he said.

“Twitter supercharges that [TV] content … and adds a layer of conversation around TV content,” he said. “Twitter was never designed to be the second-screen app for TV audiences” but millions have tapped into the platform in that manner.

“We’re living in a golden age of television,” Moroz added, noting that consumers now have almost endless options at their fingertips. “People want TV and want to have a conversation.”

Regarding scale, he said there are about 300 million active Twitter users, but content from the social-media platform is also amplified through “syndication,” as tweets show up in news and other media.

And Twitter is also showing up on more traditional TV platforms and helping to drive tune-ins. Comcast, for example, uses Twitter data on X1 for a trending guide that shows viewers which shows are buzzing.

Twitter is also placing a greater focus on video integration, supported in part by Twitter’s acquisition of SnappyTV, a platform that enables users to quickly share video clips from TV shows, or create Vines and GIFs. Major TV stars such as Ellen DeGeneres have integrated Periscope into their programs — including during the live show or post-show.

Those video bets are “starting to pay off,” Moroz said, noting that video views via Twitter have grown 250%, with 90% of them on mobile. Twitter users collectively watch some 370 years worth of video each day, he said.

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