EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 5, 2013

Even with Super Bowl power out, Twitter was 'on'

Twitter grabs Super Bowl spotlight

NEW YORK (AP) — Beyonce’s splashy show, a freak power outage, and —oh, yeah— a captivating game of football combined to generate a record 24.1 million posts on Twitter during Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

That’s up from 13.7 million last year — and that doesn’t even include chatter surrounding the ads.

Twitter said in a late Sunday blog post that about half of the more than 50 national TV spots that aired during the game included a “hashtag,” a word or phrase preceded by a number sign that’s used to organize subjects on the short messaging site. During last year’s game, only one in five ads included one. Brands ranging from Oreo to Tide and Budweiser, meanwhile, captured online buzz by linking the blackout to their brands in humorous tweets.

Super Bowl XLVII, like the London Summer Olympics and the U.S. presidential election, was yet another moment in which Twitter became the platform for millions of people to share quick reactions and participate in a massive, public conversation. Though it’s not as popular as Facebook or its buttoned-up cousin LinkedIn Corp., Twitter’s surging popularity during big events is a testament to its reach and utility. The question is whether these moments can translate into revenue for the seven-year-old company.

The company makes money by charging advertisers to promote individual tweets, accounts or trends designed to spark a conversation.

Research firm eMarketer estimates that Twitter will book advertising revenue of $545.2 million this year, up 89 percent from 2012.

Next year, worldwide ad revenue is expected to hit $807.5 million, a 48 percent increase from 2013.

Tweetable events such as the 34-minute Super Bowl power outage are ripe with marketing potential, provided that brands act quickly.

“It’s really clear right now that Twitter has a lock on real-time conversation on the Internet,” says eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

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