“11bn tweets are posted every two days,” said Chris Gilbody, key accounts, eCommerce, at Twitter. “For marketers, each of these tweets contains vital signals about who the person is, what they're doing, what they'd rather be doing, and what they care about.”
Gilbody was speaking this morning at the Mobile Gambling Summit, talking about how marketers can take advantage of the 'tweet spots' in live sport – a controversial decision by a referee, perhaps, or a last-minute equaliser.
These lead to huge peak in the number of related tweets, and while many are unpredictable – like the World Cup incident where Luis Suarez bit another player, leading to jokey tweets from the likes of Snickers and Peperami – others can be anticipated in advance, like the spike in posts when Germany won the tournament, peaking at 618,725 tweets per minute.
With 81 per cent tweeting or following Twitter while they watch sports, according to the company's own research – and 65 per cent saying this actually makes live sporting events on TV more exciting for them – there's a chance to engage people in a way that's relevant to what they're currently doing.
For the gambling brands in the audience, Gilbody pointed out, that might mean odds updated in real time as the game progresses – and soon they'll be able to go further still.
“The dream is to give people the ability to buy things or bet within a tweet, to get the full eCommerce experience without ever having to leave Twitter,” said Gilbody.
This is the 'tweet to buy' button which is currently being tested in the US and UK with the likes of American Express and Amazon. “We still need to overcome that fear of entering credit card info into a tweet”, admitted Gilbody, and the company is still working out how exactly the functionality will work – for example, whether payment details will be synced to a user's overall Twitter account, or be stored separately for each brand they buy from.
Nevertheless, when the functionality officially launches – expected to be early next year in the UK – it has the potential to change the way people look at Twitter as a marketing channel.