When Will Video Game Companies like Twitter?

Josh Chandler · January 11, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/62e

Twitter.com seems to be more "a foot in the door" then a conversation tool for video game companies!

Now, according to Joystiq.com the guy who compiled the Twitter directory of video game companies using Twitter.com is someone  who “knows more about social networking in gaming communities than the rest of us combined”, this said it seems a little post about video game companies not using social media written by Sam Houston was heard loud and clear by the video game industry. Over 36 companies to be precise are now active on Twitter, including Microsoft (XBOX), Capcom,Treyarch and many others. Based on the original post it is easy to see why, it details much of what many other industries are starting to wake up to.

I am interested to see how this Twitter trend will continue to evolve amongst the video game community, the majority of Twitter updates sent out by these accounts such as the official  Star Wars the Old Republic Twitter seem to have offered no value out to the Twitter community, they follow absolutely noone and are followed by 431, and again CCPGames have a Twitter account which follows 0 people and is followed by 188 people.

But something that caught me out slightly was out of the 96 people/ corporate broadcasters using Twitter, who work for these video games companies 91 actually “follow” people, although this may sound promising but a lot of them are simply “corporate broadcasters”, and some of them including @veronica share followers from previous projects such as Tekzilla, Mahalo Daily and CNET’s Buzz Out Loud.

It completly loses me on how the video game companies have acknowledged the presence of social media, yet can only deem it use as a broadcast rather then a conversation mechanism, and the majority of the accounts that take part in conversation publish about 10-15 updates before letting the account become dormant, but still garners followers. It clearly suggests an unwelcoming approach which is only followed by people who want to “know something quicker then RSS or press release”.

It’s one foot in the door for the video game companies who at least I guess make their account and then as Twitter begins to grow into the “mainstream” they may consider being more active on it, I am just slightly dismayed to see bloggers such as Sam Houston who obviously has a very influential blog get their articles read, acted up but never followed through! When will the video games industry act on asserting more power in social media?

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.