Twitter Competing in Two Sports: The Olympics and the U.S. Election

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As the Summer Olympics gets underway in London, Twitter — rebounding for a pre-Olympics wobble on Thursday — has launched its London 2012 Olympics hub, driving its user base to jump on the #Olympics hashtag. 

NBC has partnered with Twitter to produce the Olympics Hub, highlighting noteworthy tweets from across the Games and beyond NBC’s wall-to-wall Olympics coverage, without U.S. bias, even though a U.S.-based team in Boulder, CO, will curate tweets 20 hours a day for the hub. 

The goal is to centralize and surface tweets and conversations around the Games in a service for users and companies alike, with brands such as GE and P&G already promoting their Olympian marketing efforts via the hub.[more]

Chloe Sladden, VP of Media at Twitter commented that it’s “a new way for users to sample Twitter.” And even during the Olympics frenzy, the social site is also busy gearing up for another sport: the U.S. election season.

Twitter is embarking on a high-profile media partnership with Sirius XM Radio to launch a news show called “Politics Powered by Twitter.” The program will serve as a daily digest for SiriusXM’s 22 million subscribers that translates the “Twitter-verse” into a new talk radio format.

Launching Monday July 30, the new SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel will be the first 24/7 non-partisan channel dedicated to the “Politics of the United States,” with Twitter trends, tweets from politicians, journalists and celebrities and hosted by Internet political veterans Lee Brenner and Slade Sohmer. Listeners will be asked to tweet to @politicsradio during the live program and join the conversation.

“The 24-hour news cycle has transformed into a 140-character news cycle,” stated Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter. “During the election season, Twitter is a place where news breaks, candidates connect with constituents, and discussions flourish. ‘Politics Powered by Twitter’ on SiriusXM is a great way to dive deeper into real-time election news and continue the conversations that begin on Twitter.”

The coverage is being headed up by the co-founders of HyperVocal — follow them at @deepdishpol and @sladehv — offering “Generation Twitter a comprehensive look at the hyper-frenetic news cycle.”

Broadcasting live from Washington, D.C. and New York, the SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel will air live Monday-Friday from 6:00-7:00 pm ET, and via smartphones and other connected devices, with encore presentations air nightly at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT. 

“Twitter has provided experts, celebrities and people around the world the ability to react to, comment on and influence politics as never before. Our new radio show, Politics Powered by Twitter, captures that energy and excitement in a brand new radio format that will energize our audience,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

Facebook, of course, is ramping up its own media partnerships around the Olympics and the U.S. election too, as the Daily Beast notes:

In January, NBC and Facebook held a joint GOP primary debate in New Hampshire. During the primaries, Politico partnered with Facebook to mine user data to analyze voter behavior. Earlier this month, CNN joined Facebook to create an “I’m voting” app and conduct state-by-state research for the fall campaign. Two days later, the social network announced a similar partnership, with NBC Sports, for Olympics coverage.

As Interbrand’s Nora Geiss commented in that article, such media partnerships will boost monetization and revenue goals, particularly helping post-IPO Facebook “allay fear after its IPO struggled to show that it is still going to be able to grow to meet investors’ expectations. It shows that they will continue to make partnerships that can bring people back and get more revenue.”

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