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Twitter rolled out new mobile and web platforms this week, all in a not-so-subtle push to increase the microblog’s potential for monetization and community growth. Twitter houses about one billion tweets a week generated by over 100 million users, who contributed to the company’s $140 million profit in 2011.
If you don’t think that Twitter is a place of value or fosters conversation, let’s take a look at three examples from the past week:
Alec Baldwin @alecbaldwin [inactive]. After getting kicked off an American Airlines flight for refusing to stop a game of Words With Friends on his iPhone before takeoff, Alec Baldwin Tweeted: “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt.” A firestorm followed, including an appearance by Baldwin himself on SNL poking fun of the incident, as well as a charged tweet from his publicist Matthew Hiltzik. This week, Alec Baldwin deactivated his Twitter account. And now, there is talk that American Airlines will discontinue showing his 30 Rock in flight – a concrete example that the influence of Twitter can have tangible effects.
TAKEAWAY: With the right brand or company, be it a European airline, rental car or train company, Baldwin could wield a cunning endorsement deal.
Bill Cosby @billcosby and Tim Tebow @TimTebow. Bill Cosby posted this YouTube video, asking people to have faith in Denver Bronco’s quarterback, Tim Tebow. Subsequently, a Twitter romance exchange passed between Cosby and Tebow, which expanded to another bromance exchanged between the quarterback and Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard. This happened all on the heels of the newest Internet-pose, “Tebowing,” which has people kneeling in genuflection (and in one case, getting suspended from school).
TAKEAWAY: This whole line of interactions – between unlikely communicators, in a short amount of time – proves the real networking ability of Twitter, both in content and in the ability to create a movement like “Tebowing,” that might seem small, but could be the next Aaron Rodger’s “Title Belt” touchdown dance (which State Farm turned into a national campaign).
Demi Moore @MrsKutcher. Superstar Demi Moore filed for divorce from her much-younger husband, Ashton Kutcher, long after the two became early celebrity Twitter-stars, using the social network to build their brand and promote their careers. Yet, though the couple has publicly split, Moore has no intention of changing her married handle, @MrsKutcher, which implies a powerful notion: her social media property carries more weight than independence from an ex.
TAKEAWAY: In the customary splitting of properties associated with divorce, 4.3 million followers are far too precious to lose.
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