By: Ethan Thomas, Account Coordinator
Daily users are declining. Total active users are declining. Is it management? Or is it that a picture is worth much, much more than 140 characters?
It really seems as though Twitter is losing its following to Instagram, Snapchat and – though I hate to admit it – Pokémon Go. Instagram rebranded its logo, put a minimalist touch to its interface, and even changed up its newsfeed algorithm. Snapchat has exploded into the realm of paid advertising content, and companies are finally catching up to speed on how to reach customers on the platform. And in less than a month, Pokémon Go has become the biggest game in U.S. history (though its popularity seems to be fading).
All of this is going on and what, Twitter removed links and photos from counting toward the maximum character count? Seems like a pretty boring summer for a social media behemoth.
Don’t worry. Twitter isn’t brooding in the corner while Snapchat and Instagram take over the social media landscape. It’s got a bigger plan. If you haven’t been looking, you could have missed it.
Last fall, the NFL experimented with the first free live streaming of a football game on Yahoo Sports. Yahoo reported that the live stream accumulated 15.2 million unique viewers, 33.6 million video streams and over 460 total minutes of video consumed. The game took place in London, and the most surprising statistic came from somewhere unexpected: 33 percent of the entire audience, just around 5 million unique viewers, were overseas. For a sport dominated by American fan bases, this is huge. Twitter definitely took notice.
Twitter swiftly won the global digital streaming rights for 10 NFL Thursday night games. It beat out big-name competitors such as Amazon and Verizon – two big competitors in the live-streaming market. “This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He may not be everyone’s favorite major sports commissioner, but he’s nailed this right on the head.
The potential for advertisers to utilize this medium is enormous. Not only will there be outstanding paid promotion opportunities, but the amount of organic brand-to-consumer connections will set a tone for other major sports in the United States and abroad.
“This is about transforming the fan experience with football,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “People watch NFL games with Twitter today. Now they’ll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights.”
Twitter’s been relatively quiet about this, but with less than 50 days left until kickoff, expect to see brands begin pushing their involvement.