Twitter Providing TV Suggestions Based on its User Activity

Twitter is intent on becoming like a social TV guide for its users, and the newest phase of that strategy can be seen in the platform’s latest app update. Now, in the corner of the screen, Twitter promotes television shows to users based on how active those users are. The idea is to drive traffic to TV programs. Down the line this kind of marketing will likely be monetized, but it needs to be done in a way that current and new users understand and do not find annoying.

According to AllThingsD, CEO Dick Costolo “talked a lot about the Twitter + TV concept in the runup to their IPO,” but the site notes the idea “is still a work in progress.” The on-screen advertising, which was tested on just a small percentage of Twitter users over the summer, is still relatively hidden within the app and isn’t formal advertising.

It is the early stages of a new project for sure, but it’s not something just being thrown onto the site without great thought. Driving traffic to TV shows is key for the site, and as AllThingsD notes, the site “also likes the notion that TV shows are something that appeal to lots of mainstream users — the kind it would very much like to recruit and keep on the service.”

The important, and tricky, part of the new TV integration by Twitter will be to deliver it in a way so that is not jarring to longtime users of the site “and, more importantly, in a way that makes sense to new users, who Twitter really needs,” reports AllThingsD.

Writer Peter Kafka predicts Twitter’s TV recommendations will operate similarly to its other experiments Magic Recs and Event Parrot to “deliver information — interesting users, or interesting news — to users who have asked for it.”

Related:
TV Conversation Targeting Launches in the UK and US: Coming Soon to Brazil, Canada, France and Spain, Twitter Blog, 11/21/13