Twitter’s foray into live events has been mostly about sports. However, on Sunday during the Grammy Awards, the micro-blogging giant attracted more viewers than it did during any NFL game, according to CNBC.
Plan to double live programming
On Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said that about 5.1 million people tuned into the Grammys. Noto said that this number is topped only by the U.S. presidential election and inauguration of Donald Trump. He added that the company is planning to double the amount of live programming it shows in 2017 as it tries to boost engagement in an increasingly competitive online media world.
Noto also said the micro-blogging site streamed its first lacrosse game last weekend, attracting 500,000 viewers. Twitter streams live sports like soccer in the U.K. and rugby games in France. Noto said they are trying to build awareness of these underserved pieces of content like the surprising lacrosse performance, adding that international expansion is planned for the U.K., Japan and elsewhere.
Noto predicted that advertisers would notice improvements in the value of Twitter ads. The CFO, however, said it could take six to 12 months until the company starts reaping the benefits. He added that the social network would look for more options to make more money from its data, which offers high-profit margins.
Twitter having an Arab Spring moment in America
Twitter’s growing influence in politics since President Trump started using the platform as a daily megaphone for arguments and insults is unsettling or shocking for some, but not for CEO Jack Dorsey, who recalls seeing a similar phenomenon play out in other countries, notes Fortune.
On Wednesday, Dorsey, who was also attending the Goldman Sachs Technology conference in San Francisco, said, “A lot of the same patterns we’ve seen during the Iranian Green Revolution and the Arab Spring. It was stunning to see how Twitter was being used to have a conversation about the government, with the government.”
Dorsey said their greatest superpower is that they break the news faster than any other information outlet on the planet. It is, however, uncertain how the micro-blogging site will bring in more users or construct a dramatic financial turnaround by being at the center of breaking news.
On Wednesday, Twitter shares closed up 1.33% at $16.74. Year to date, the stock is up almost 3%, while in the last year, it is up more than 5%. The stock has a 52-week high of $25.25 and a 52-week low of $13.73.