Facebook Faces Competition as Twitter Teams up with NBC for Olympics

Facebook Faces Competition as Twitter Teams up with NBC for Olympics

Social networking and micro blogging company, Twitter and NBC Universal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK), developed a partnership in delivering the latest developments in the Olympics 2012 to people.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Twitter will deploy employees to tweet about the live events in the Olympics, including game results, interviews with athletes and their families, reactions from fans, commentaries from NBC TV personalities, and video clips 20 hours a day.

Twitter will dedicate a page on its website to stream live updates from the Olympics, and encourage users to watch NBC’s live coverage on TV and online. On the other hand, NBC will show the Twitter’s Olympics hash tag on screen during its TV coverage.

Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s vice president of media, admitted that the Olympics is crucial for the company to establish its image to new users, and to test its capability in delivering breaking events. According to her, she will be monitoring the live coverage of Olympic Games, and she will tweet updates from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.

On the other hand, Gary Zenkel, NBC’s president for Olympics events, said Twitter can stir people’s interest to watch its live coverage. He said, “We’re quite aware of and comfortable with the fact that Twitter is a place where news will surface, and in some cases, the news will be made. At the end of the day, the only place where you can watch the Olympics, which is what people crave, is NBC.”

The WSJ report cited that Twitter is taking advantage of the partnership to capture more users, and to boost its image as a serious, sustainable, and profitable business. Based on the statistics presented by WSJ, hundreds or thousands of users send tweets when big news stories or significant events happen. For instance, during the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, 493 users tweeted per second, while Bin Laden’s death in 2011 generated 5,106 tweets per second. The 2012 Super Bowl recorded 12,230 tweets per second. Twitter has 140 million active users per month, who use the platform to receive news updates, celebrity gossips, or share their ideas, views or comments on any issues.

NBC and Twitter will not share each other’s advertising revenues. The second most popular social media is encouraging big brands to place their advertisements on its Olympics page. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) agreed to place advertisements on Twitter.

Debra Aho Williamson, analyst from the research firm eMarketer, said Twitter can capture a significant amount of advertisements when traffic floods Twitter’s Olympics page. According to her, it is impossible to find out how much budget is allocated by a company to place advertisements on Twitter during the event.

Twitter is the second most popular social media worldwide. In October 2011, comScore, an internet analytics company, found that Twitter captured one out of 10 internet users globally. Its growth rate from 2010 to 2011 is 59 percent. The statistics indicated that Twitter is growing rapidly.

During the first quarter of 2012, Trendrr, a social media analysis firm, said that Twitter drives three-fourth or 75% of social activities on broadcast TV programs, while Facebook generates only 16 percent. The social network and micro blogging company also proved its ability to dominate the digital conversations during big events.

Twitter’s fast growth rate poses a threat on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) position as the worlds’ leading social networking platform, if it continues to create and maintain strategic campaigns, and partnership with TV stations.  Twitter compliments the media, because celebrities and politicians alike tweet to reach their fans/supporters. There have been numerous instances when tweets landed in the headlines.  The ability of the company to dominate digital conversations proves that it is a powerful platform, user-friendly, and it can generate strong profits.