Headlines over the past weeks have been buzzing with talk of Twitter- as it is set to be the largest tech IPO since Facebook. Twitter is shaping new ways for users, content providers and advertisers to interact. It’s became a “global town square” - a forum where Presidents, NBA superstars, economists, and journalists can be found sharing their thoughts, research or updates in real-time format. It provides a filter through the endless amounts of content, showing users only the main message. This pure social media play has established itself in our culture with its very own verb, “tweeting.” This is not an opinion on whether to participate in the IPO of Twitter or not- instead we aim to examine how Twitter has positioned itself to become a game changer in media.
A “global town square”
Throughout history there has been a town square where everyone from politicians, musicians, and story tellers went to share their views and talents. Lively discussions, sharing of information, trading of ideas- all of this happened in a live format. Twitter is trying to promote this same exchange by providing a digital platform for users to get real-time content on any topic they desire. Users can follow sports commentators, key thought leaders, and media outlets – and have a custom feed of information tailored to follow these content providers or also trends/topics they are interested in.
“Second screen”: providing a filter for endless content
In today’s digital information age, we are facing a constant barrage of information. Users are constantly scanning through lengthy articles just to find the bottom line- which is exactly what Twitter looks to provide. Tweets are limited to 140 characters- a purposefully chosen number, keeping messages brief and to the point. In a society where our attention span is short and time is limited, this strategy keeps users engaged. Think of Twitter as a filter, providing a “second screen” of longer form information.
“Pure” social media play
Twitter is the only company solely focused on social media and promotes the most interaction and engagement with its users, given the focus on it’s real-time format. This benefits Twitter in their potential to create powerful advertising relationships, as demonstrated in a recent partnership with Nielson TV ratings. Nielson will utilize Twitter to track real-time emotional reactions of users to TV content, giving advertisers and producers powerful information of what engages audiences.
Twitter has been able to brand “tweeting” as a verb
In the 1960s as Xerox made the first office copy makers, to make a copy become known as “xeroxing,” and in the early 2000s as Google become popular, performing a web search became known as “googling.” Twitter has branded “tweeting”- the verb for creating messages on Twitter. This is significant as it shows that the company is a pioneer; a new word is needed to describe its use. Secondly, it shows the company has been well established in our culture, as the verb is well recognized. Both of these factors indicate that the company is creating an important place in its industry, and from the success in Xerox’s early days and the continued success of Google, bodes well for Twitter’s potential future.
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Article by Ignacio Pakciarz (CEO) and Ilina Dutt (Research Analyst), BigSur Partners.
Ms. Dutt is focused on supporting the BigSur Patners weekly Investment Committee. She presents the Investment Committee with broad market and investment research, using BigSur’s institutional and independent research sources. She further supports the Investment Committee by participating in the third party manager selection process and on-going due diligence of preferred investment vehicles. Ms.