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Superbowl hammers home superiority of Twitter

February 4th, 2013
Twitter logo

I wasn’t the first to say it, but it is something I’ve noticed for a long time in my own social media usage, Twitter is #winning. Twitter has received a lot of credit for breaking news stories, for helping activists and rebels organize, and now it has become the favourite of marketers and sports fans, not to mention presidential candidates…

During the big game and especially during the blackout Twitter exploded both in number of tweets and in people giving credit to the micro blogging service as the place to go for immediate information and entertainment. The key word is immediate. Facebook is still more popular with people who post pictures of their kids and pets. Facebook is also a platform for online gaming. Facebook still has more registered users, but Twitter has more engaged users IMHO. When something is happening in real time, it happens simultaneously on Twitter:

  • During the blackout the company that provides power to the stadium tweeted.
  • Rival sports leagues tweeted.
  • Brands and marketers attempted to capitalize during the extended break in the action.
  • Comedians both amateur and professional tried their best one liners.
  • Coke tweeted so much their account was suspended.

The long prophesied second screen was very much in evidence, though I don’t know how many people were using their smart TVs to tweet in preference to their smart phones. The numbers released this morning confirmed it, Twitter got more mentions during the TV broadcast than all the other social networks combined. Athletes took to their Twitter accounts to express their feelings along with fans. The immediacy of Twitter along with the ability to be part of the event along with those actually present, irregardless of fame and resources, is appealing.

On Facebook supposedly a maximum of 20% of your fans will see your message unless you pay Facebook money. On Twitter every one of your followers sees your Tweets immediately, or they did back in 2013. On the Facebook iPhone app the second update on my timeline is always an ad for something I don’t give a shit about. On Twitter I used to be able to choose which iPhone client I want to use and customize it to display the information I want first. On Facebook if even one of my friends likes Molson Genuine Draft I get encouraged to ‘like’ MGD over and over and over. Molson, Facebook, it is never going to happen!

Twitter is just a better medium for following news that interests you. It is a better medium for brands, celebrities, and organizations to interact with their fans/followers in a timely manner or it was. Now it has been rebranded X and a lot of people think it is no longer the same as it was in 2013. Instagram may now be more popular with celebrities and TikTok with teens. Twitter has also proven useful in emergency situations and the Superbowl proved that advertisers have also noticed that Joe Sixpack has now incorporated Tweeting and hashtagging into their televised sports watching routine.

On micro blogging services like Twitter, Quality can trump popularity. Demonstrating your expertise and wit is rewarded though I still don’t believe you can tweet your way to a better career. When writing anywhere online the two most important qualities to strive for are timeliness and timelessness. Twitter rewards timeliness much more than say Google whose search algorithm used to reward authoritative posts/sites, but now seems to be inundated with ads and links to Google’s other properties such as YouTube.

  • When someone retweets you that is a vote for the timeliness, but also the interestingness of your writing.
  • When someone favourites one of your tweet that is a vote for the timelessness of your writing.

I’m not sure Klout and others who seek to measure social media prowess see things the same way. Sample size of one evidence, I checked Twitter regularly throughout the game and made many, many tweets. I checked Facebook once or twice and made one update commenting on how “Twitter is better.”

More Reflections

If you have thoughts on social media and whether Twitter/X is still the best second screen for live commenting on an event whether a sports championship or the season finale of Game of Thrones you can leave your comment below. I think after a decade has past and Elon Musk took over, Twitter is not the same, people really seem to like short videos now.

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