With the games of the 32nd Olympiad about to kick-off in Tokyo, after a year’s delay due to the pandemic, and amid ongoing uncertainty with Japan’s COVID situation, Twitter has today outlined how it’s looking to help users take part in discussion around the event, which also includes how brands can tap into the surrounding trends for their tie-in marketing efforts.
First off, as has become the norm for major events, Twitter is adding custom hashtag emojis (or ‘hashflags‘ as some know them), both for the event itself and individual participant nations:
As per Twitter:
“Fans worldwide can use the official Olympics Twitter emoji throughout the Games. The emoji will unlock when you Tweet #Olympics and related hashtags in more than 30 languages. Twitter will also have emojis for each country competing, unlocked when you Tweet three-character country hashtags. Lastly, fans can cheer on the Refugee Olympic Team during the Games by Tweeting #EOR to unlock their team emoji.”
Twitter’s also added custom hashflags for American gymnast Simone Biles specifically, as she looks to build on her Olympics legacy.
It seems likely that other athletes will also get similar hashflags throughout the games.
Twitter’s also adding a new Olympics Explore tab on desktop for the duration of the event, as well as new Olympic topics to follow to stay up to date.
Twitter will also be running custom games Event Pages, which will feature top Tweets from trusted accounts.
“You’ll be able to follow the action and reactions as they happen for the marquee events and top games. We will also have custom Event Pages dedicated to different countries. These will be home to top Tweets which capture that country’s experience.”
And in a new addition for this year, Twitter’s launching what it’s calling its #ExpertEngine Experience, which will provide a way for users to learn more about Olympic events.
When you send a tweet through, you’ll get a reply with facts and animated clips related to that event.
Great Britain skateboarder Sky Brown is set to replace swimmer Margery Hinton as the country’s youngest-ever summer Olympian. Aged just 12, Brown is younger than Hinton, who was 13 years and 43 days old when she competed at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. pic.twitter.com/dkAFqg6Jk5
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 21, 2021
It could be a handy option if you’re looking to learn more about the events – or if you just want to one-up your friend or partner who suddenly thinks that he/she knows everything there is to know about modern pentathlon and its athletes.
Twitter also notes that the most popular Olympic sports thus far, in terms of overall tweet volume, are:
While the most popular individual athletes are:
- Rikako Ikee (@rikakoikee) – Swimming, Japan
- Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) – Gymnastics, USA
- Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka) – Tennis, Japan
- Kei Nishikori (@keinishikori) – Tennis, Japan
- Kohei Uchimura (@kohei198913) – Gymnastics, Japan
These will likely change during the event, as there are always emerging heroes and stories between the lines. But if you were looking for where the Olympics conversation is focused, these are some good pointers at this stage.
Which is what brands seeking tie-in opportunities are probably most keen on – and on this front, Twitter has also shared some pointers for marketers to help in their planning.
Twitter’s key considerations for branded tie-ins are:
- Get your tone and topics right – There are 33 different sports to choose from, so don’t limit yourself to the most popular events
- Get familiar with time zones – According to Twitter, 28% of people are planning to use their preferred social platform to watch highlights in the morning
- Make the most of digital-first – With no IRL crowds, more fans than ever will be looking to engage online, which is a big potential opportunity
- Plan for the unexpected – With the COVID-19 situation still evolving, things can change quickly, so if you’ve mapped out a strategy, note that it could be blown out of the water, just like that
- Define your goals – Consider not only your basic social media engagement goals, but the actual brand benefits that you’re looking to glean from your tie-in campaigns
These are some solid notes, and if you are planning out an associated tweet strategy, it’s worth factoring in these elements, and ensuring that you’re best prepared.
Because nobody knows what’s going to happen over the next few weeks. Even now, with the COVID situation worsening in Japan, it still feels like the Olympics could be canceled entirely, while in the past, the Games have dominated the surrounding media cycle so significantly, that there’s also a good chance that it’s going to be much harder to get your brand messaging heard at all during the event.
Maybe. It feels different this time around due to the COVID changes, and it’ll be strange watching world records get broken with literally no crowd response. Maybe that will mean that the Games are less influential, and disruptive in the general media sense – or maybe people will be increasingly keen to unite around the Games due to the pandemic, and it’ll be bigger than ever.
It’s impossible to say, but you can definitely expect to hear a lot more sports discussion, and that may need to be factored into your planning.
Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream
At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”
On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.
Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.
Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.
The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.
Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.
The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.
The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.
Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.
In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.
Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.
Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.
But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.
“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Twitter Bans Sharing Personal Photos, Videos of Other People Without Consent
Twitter launched new rules Tuesday blocking users from sharing private images of other people without their consent, in a tightening of the network’s policy just a day after it changed CEOs.
Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media, such as images or videos of private individuals without their consent. Publishing people’s private info is also prohibited under the policy, as is threatening or incentivizing others to do so.https://t.co/7EXvXdwegG
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021
Twitter said this policy does not apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”
“We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service,” the company added.
The right of Internet users to appeal to platforms when images or data about them are posted by third parties, especially for malicious purposes, has been debated for years.
Twitter already prohibited the publication of private information such as a person’s phone number or address, but there are “growing concerns” about the use of content to “harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals,” Twitter said.
The company noted a “disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
High-profile examples of online harassment include the barrages of racist, sexist,and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world’s biggest video game streaming site.
But instances of harassment abound, and victims must often wage lengthy fights to see hurtful, insulting or illegally produced images of themselves removed from the online platforms.
Some Twitter users pushed the company to clarify exactly how the tightened policy would work.
“Does this mean that if I take a picture of, say, a concert in Central Park, I need the permission of everyone in it? We diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public,” tweeted Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York.
The change came the day after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he was leaving the company, and handed CEO duties to company executive Parag Agrawal.
The platform, like other social media networks, has struggled against bullying, misinformation, and hate-fuelled content.
Twitter likely to roll out ‘Reactions’ feature soon
After unveiling several features this year, micro-blogging site Twitter is reportedly readying new features, including Reactions, Downvotes and Sorted Replies for iOS users.
According to reverse engineer Nima Owji, the Reactions feature, which started being tested a couple of months ago, is set to launch soon, reports 9To5Mac.
With four new reactions, “tears of joy,” “thinking face,” “clapping hands” and “crying face,” this feature is designed to give users the ability to better show how conversations make them feel and to give users “a better understanding of how their Tweets are received”.
Citing the reverse engineer, the report also mentioned that the micro-blogging site is now able to store data about the downvotes feature, which is another indicator that this function will be released sooner rather than later.
The report also notes that the company changed the downvote position as well. It has even added a new tab explaining how downvotes work.
This month, the company has rolled out its in-app tipping feature to all Android users above the age of 18, following the iOS launch in September.
Twitter said the “Tips” feature is geared toward users looking to get a little financial support from their followers through Cash App, PayPal, Venmo and Patreon directly through the app.
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