Commentary

Twitter Introduces Live Event Targeting

Remember during the Super Bowl blackout when Oreos tweeted “You can still dunk in the dark” and the universe changed forever? Well, while it remains to be seen if they can pull off that kind of spontaneous wit, Twitter is hoping to help other brands tap into live events with a new event targeting capability, connecting advertisers with consumers following along with live events.

The new feature helps marketers reach consumers engaged with live events with additional capabilities for targeting by gender, language, and device type, among other factors. It also provides historical data on previous events, including how many Twitter users were engaged, popular hashtags and keywords, and the audience profile. There’s also a calendar that shows major scheduled events, including professional sports matches, holidays, awards shows, concerts, elections, and the like. Currently the service is limited to the U.S., UK, France, Brazil and Japan, but presumably Twitter will add other major markets before too long.

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Marketers can reach the new event targeting service through the “Event calendar” tab in the Tools menu.

The event targeting feature is part of a big push to leverage Twitter’s position as the go-to platform for real-time commentary. Last month the microblogging platform previewed “Project Lightning,” which allows Twitter and its users to aggregate content around events in curated spaces on the platform, including photos and videos. Lightning, scheduled to roll out later this year, will also enable users to share the curated content outside Twitter by embedding them on other sites as well as within third party apps.

At launch Twitter will probably cover around ten events per day, but eventually Twitter plans to open the feature so users can create their own curated events -- even if they’re not necessarily relevant to the broader Twitter audience.

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