A few Twitter users awoke this morning to find their activity streams filled with a new ‘Trending’ TV box. The social network is testing out new ways of monetizing its service, and to drive higher usage. The trending box displays current popular TV shows as cards in a user’s Twitter timeline, and links to more information about the show, people in it, as well as promotions and other offers. So far, the elusive feature seems to only appear through the iOS app, rather than through the desktop, implying that Twitter is testing it as an augmented second screen activity. Expect to see more on this soon as it’s a developing story.
In an effort to update its offerings, Yahoo has partnered with Twitter to integrate tweets from a number of major news sources into its homepage news feed. This comes on the heels of a major brand overhaul by CEO Marissa Mayer, focused on maximizing personalization of the brand’s products. There has been little chatter about how this upgrade actually applies to Yahoo’s personalization goals, but with their many startup purchases and branding overhaul in progress, big things appear to be on the horizon for Yahoo.
As far as Twitter analytics go, SocialBro is one of the more useful applications currently on the market. Now, though, the Spanish startup is taking a step towards offering data about Tweets themselves, rather than just people. It presents a graph that shows information about how your tweets have performed over time, and you can see the relative popularity of each Tweet in terms o Favorites, retweets, replies and more. You can adjust the data for date range, tweets and replies, and many other parameters. Because SocialBro is geared towards business-oriented Twitter users, the introduction of analytics for specific tweets makes it more attractive to the broad-based, social media marketing sphere.
Data collected by social media startup Nestivity on Thursday demonstrated, on several levels, what it means to engage with an audience on Twitter. The top 25 brands, in terms of engagement, were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter. It analyzed over 739,000 tweets over a months time, and looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter. According to Nestivity, many brands fall into the trap of using Twitter for push marketing, or broadcasting messages. But their view is that if a brand is using Twitter as a one-way marketing tool, they’re losing out on quality interactions with customers. Fitting with this trend, the most prolific of the 100 Brands tweeted every 6-20 minutes, however none of those most active accounts made the most engaged list. This indicates that quality tweets still matter more than their quantity – and quality oftentimes means something as simple as photographs and video. 76% of content that was shared had a photo attached, and 18% had a video as part of the message. The top 10 brands who followed these trends were, in order: Notebook of Love, Disneywords, ESPN, Playstation, Disney, Chelsea Football Club, BBC Breaking News, NASA, CNN Breaking News, and Instagram.
Twitter Music is now live online, which confirms the rumors that have been swirling for the past few days. Any attempt to sign into the website thus far redirects to an authorization request for an app called “Trending Music Web,” but it doesn’t grant users access to the site itself. The authorization also describes a “web version” which implies that there is also a mobile version in existence somewhere. The rumors started on Thursday, when Twitter announced the takeover of We Are Hunted, a music discovery service that creates trending charts for music being played online, and allows users to listen to discover new artists while playing their favorite tracks. We Are Hunted founder Stephen Phillips has since tweeted several playable tracks from Rdio and Soundcloud, which implies that both services may be a part of Twitter’s imminent app. Reports indicate that the formal app launch could formally arrive at Coachella.
Twitter will, beginning late this month, assign rankings to tweets across the interface. To start with, the social media service will assign designations of “none,” “low,” and “medium” to the metadata of tweets in an attempt to help developers more selectively curate the sea of status updates. A “High” rating should roll out a few weeks after the initial rankings testing, and will ideally correspond to the “Top Tweets” results that you would find by searching a hashtag, which in its current form indicates a very high level of engagement with the tweet. The ultimate goal is to make Twitter’s streaming more customizable and targeted for developers looking to tweak applications for brands and companies, allowing a higher level of analysis and interaction with the platform.
Promoted Trends on Twitter continue to charge more and more money, and according to a Report by AllThingsD they now charge $200,000 a day. Clocking in at more than twice the original price of $80,000 a day in 2010, Twitter clearly understands that it has a market for the Trends, which were used by both Obama and Romney in the past election, as well as Coke, Disney, and Hyundai in the past year. Purchased hashtags are placed at the top of the trending topics list, and users who click the hashtag see a tweet from the company who purchased it. Other options beyond the Promoted Trend include promoted Tweets and Accounts, which have also proven effective as marketing strategies, but according to Twitter’s data Promoted Trends have a much higher degree of engagement than any other form of advertisement on the site. If, and it’s a big if given the hefty pricetag, Twitter can sell this advertising slot every day, they could generate up to $70 million in revenue just through this method alone. It hasn’t happened yet, but it could in the very near future as social media marketing continues to thrive.