“ Social TV - It’s ON: Twitter to buy social TV firm Bluefin Labs for estimated $70m
As Twitter has become the 1st choice for 2nd screen interaction - this acquisition is a smart move.
“Twitter is the shortest distance between you and what interests you most. This interest is expressed in a huge volume of conversation. 400 million Tweets are sent every day. As a result, when events happen in the real world, they happen on Twitter.”
The backchannel chatter during the Super Bowl Sunday showed how inseparable Twitter and TV have become. The game racked up 30.6 million mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and GetGlue, up from 12.2 million one year prior and made it the biggest Social TV event to date.
DATA PORN: #TWEETPING
Franck Ernewein‘s Twitter visualization is not the first but one of the latest and most beautiful attempts to get a real-time big picture of the world of tweets.
“ #Election2012 the #1 political social TV event of all time: 28.5 million Tweets and public Facebook posts from 7pm-2am, generating 13.8 billion earned impressions. When elections were called for President Obama around 11:18pm, tweets spiked at 261,026 comments per minute
— Bluefin Labs
During the ‘08 election we tweeted what they were doing on TV. Four years later, TV is talking about what we’re doing on Twitter.— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) November 7, 2012
Bluefin’s Data Deep Dive in the 2012 Elections:
IT’S A WRAP FOR SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD FORUM EUROPE 2012
The 2 day event boosted a full calendar of sessions with high calibre speakers, demonstrating just how much ‘social’ has been baked into the fabric of every major marketing, media, commerce and b2b efforts. As Nokia’s Mark Squires (aka@DrPinball) aptly stated regarding the necessary commitment: “Social Media is like being pregnant. You can’t be a bit pregnant”.
Interviews with MTV, LEGO, Shazam, Tumblr and Echo Labs coming up.
WINGS OF DESIRE – Twitter lands in Berlin.
When Jack Dorsey made a stop-over in Berlin this January for an interview with Bild (and coffee with actor Matthias Schweighöfer), Twitter’s direction was hinting towards ‘mass media’. Because that’s what it takes to change the perception that ‘Germans just don’t tweet’. With a country of 81m people, there are less than 4m German Twitter accounts (compared with a UK ratio of 24m accounts at 62m people). Florian Weber, one of Twitter’s first developers and now CTO of Berlin-based Amen, told us in an earlier interview: “Back then even most of my friends here thought it was plain stupid.” Facebook had an equally tough start to break into hesitant (yet loyal) German territory, but did eventually beat home-grown StudiVZ to become the dominant social network.
Now, Twitter has chosen the German capital as its residency and put Ex-Bild Social Media and Community Chief Rowan Barnett in command to get people tweeting – or just following. We can surely expect a Twitter awareness push and see more German personalities, soccer clubs and TV shows getting into 140-character-mood.
Twitter is positioning itself as the ‘information space’ and as Dorsey said: „If I can give one advice to the Germans: you can also just read Twitter, you do not need to tweet.” The genius of Twitter is that it leaves room for everybody (people and brands) to use it just as they want to - and see “what’s happening around you”. You can create and tune into micro-spaces of (real-time) conversation - weather that’s news broadcasts, global revolts, research, live tweets from fashion runways, sports results, customer service rants - or just following Ashton Kutchers latest music obsession.
At SXSW, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone cited the Berlin classic “Wings of Desire” as one of his favorite movies (he also advised against the Hollywood remake “Cities of Angels” - kudos for that). For him it represents the all-in “being ready to die” attitude entrepreneurs need to have. “In order to succeed spectacularly you need to be prepared to fail spectacularly.” An optimistic yet grounded vibe you can very much feel in “counter-culture” Berlin. In any case: good move!
“TO SUCCEED SPECTACULARLY, YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO FAIL SPECTACULARLY” — Biz Stone
At SXSW12, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone takes to Wim Wender’s “Wings of Desire” (not the Hollywood version ‘City of Angels’ as he points out) for a very valuable lesson for start-ups: Stop hedging and ‘go all in’. Listen. It’s brilliant.
He also remembers the birth hours of Twitter. Originally he had planned together with Evan Williams to become the “Kings of Podcasting” with Odeo - until they realized other people were doing it and Apple put podcasts into iTunes (which made sense).
Another (bigger) reason not to go down the podcasting road was that they weren’t really motivated to use it themselves. It didn’t “light their fire”. — Enter Jack Dorsey, an engineer who was writing dispatch software at the time and had an obsession with the idea to visualize the real-time pulse of a city. So, they married their ideas and built an early Twitter prototype to socialize and broadcast short (dispatch) messages. The rest is history.
However, the loudest initial critique was “Twitter is not useful” - to which Evan Williams once responded “Neither is ice cream. So should we ban ice cream?” Point taken. Florian Weber, one of the early Twitter developers and now a co-founder and CTO at Amen, told us in a previous interview about even harsher critique while he was helping to build Twitter from his German home-base. “Most people in Germany just thought it was plain stupid,” Weber mentioned. A good example that mass-popular services first and foremost need to be simple - and the users will find a way to make them valuable for themselves.
What Twitter really represents is power of free communication in the hands of people. Stone recalls an early anecdote when students in Moldavia took to Twitter to organize a student revolt and he was questioned about his involvement. By now Twitter is recognized as THE people powered tool for free speech to make the world aware of political protests all over the globe.
Stones biggest learning? “Change is not a triumph of technology, it’s a triumph of humanity.” Technology is only an enabler.