The Gold In Them Thar Tweets

Guy YalifDown here on Captiva Island attending (and blogging) MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit, and I’m thinking social media could well be renamed “real-time media,” because, well, it is. And by that, I don’t just mean things like the Facebook Exchange, where agencies and brands can use programmatic trading to buy audience reach on the social network, though they can obviously do that too. I’m talking about the way social media is changing the way we communicate, share things -- whether it is brand-related or other things -- all in real-time. There was no better example of this than a conversation I had with Guy Yalif, the head of global product marketing at Twitter, moments before he took the stage. We were riffing about the way people are using the meta data from Twitter to track all sorts of natural -- and even some unnatural -- occurrences. Including natural disasters. That might have been on my mind, because I’m in sunny Florida today, but was shoveling a yard of snow yesterday in Connecticut. So I asked Yalif what he thought of the fact that people could track things like the earthquake that hit the Northeast corridor last year by following people tweeting it in real-time. His answer was that one of the Twitter feeds he receives is from an early earthquake seismology center near his home in San Francisco.
Moments after that conversation, while scanning other publishers for relevant news items to link to in RTM Daily, I came across one published by Marketing Profs, which discussed how public health researchers are now monitoring flu patterns -- in real-time -- by analyzing Twitter data.
During his presentation, I asked Yalif if Twitter was developing any platforms to help brands utilize any of these kinds of data to help them target consumers and he said that while Twitter loves it when “third-parties” do that, they have no immediate plans to get into the real-time analytics business. That’s a shame, because there’s gold in them thar tweets.



2 comments about "The Gold In Them Thar Tweets".
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  1. Keith Trivitt from MediaWhiz, February 11, 2013 at 7:14 p.m.

    Great article, Joe. I've often wondered why Twitter hasn't tried to develop a more robust real-time monitoring platform and then monetize it. Think of all of the use cases, but more specifically to Twitter's revenue model, think of all the advertising and revenue opportunities it could generate.

    More broadly, if organizations are already using this on a large scale to monitoring real-time situations and develop response to public health issues, it seems prudent to me that Twitter should explore whether there is a business use and revenue model for such detailed real-time search and data mining. As you say, there is significant value in them thar tweets.

  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, February 12, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.

    “Real-time media"? Nailed it! Because what's social about topical news and celebrity tweets?

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