Twitter looks to sports, election to spur tweeting in Canada in 2015 - InfoNews

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Twitter looks to sports, election to spur tweeting in Canada in 2015

An RCMP constable salutes as she stands beside the FIFA Women's World Cup during a draw of team groupings for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Gatineau, Que., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Twitter is counting on a couple of international sporting events and a federal election to help spur tweeting in Canada in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
December 31, 2014 - 7:00 AM

TORONTO - Twitter is counting on a couple of international sporting events and a federal election to help spur tweeting in Canada in 2015.

And the social media company also hopes to finally convert the Twitter users who don't even realize they're considered Twitter users.

In announcing its third quarter earnings in late October, Twitter said it had surpassed 284 million monthly active users globally.

The company said it also counts another 500 million Internet users each month who see a tweet, profile or the home page without being logged in.

Some of those users without Twitter accounts are also regularly seeing tweets embedded around the web, including on news media sites and blogs.

Ellen DeGeneres's famous Oscar selfie tweet — the most shared of all time with more than 3.36 million retweets and counting — is an example of content that has actually performed far better than Twitter's analytics would suggest, because it spread so far and was seen by so many non-users, says Christopher Doyle, director of media partnerships for Twitter Canada.

"We know it had billions of impressions beyond just the people that retweeted it," says Doyle, noting the tweet was also displayed countless times on TV and was printed in magazines and newspapers.

"We're working on ways to try and track it ... there's a life to a tweet beyond just it being on the platform."

In Canada, a few large events are set for next year that will undoubtedly trend on Twitter and result in tweets getting noticed by non-users too, Doyle says.

"I'm excited that we have two major events on Canadian soil — we have the Pan Am Games in Toronto and then the FIFA Women's World Cup across the country — it'll be really interesting to see how Canadians use the platform during those two big events," he says.

"And with the federal election as well happening next year we know that will be dominating news cycles and Canadians will be going to Twitter to follow along with the debates and campaigns."

While Twitter's user base is still growing, the number of tweets posted daily appears to have stalled. Last year, Twitter said about 500 million tweets were written daily and the company announced the same number recently.

Twitter has irked some users by starting to add additional content into their feeds from people they don't follow.

"When we identify a tweet, an account to follow, or other content that's popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline," Twitter explains on one of its help pages.

"This means you will sometimes see tweets from accounts you don't follow. We select each tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting."

Doyle acknowledges Twitter has heard some negative feedback.

"I think it's really all part of experimenting and always trying to innovate and see what works best on the platform. I know there seems to be a whole lot of feedback around it, I think there's going to be a lot of feedback any time you test things like that," he says.

"But really, I think we've found that it's just been an experiment at this stage."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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