In a partnership with NBC Universal, social media giant Twitter will become the official narrator of the 2012 Olympics. A handful of people will spend 20 hours a day to help corral millions of Twitter messages from Olympic athletes, their families, fans and NBC television personalities into a single page on Twitter.com.
The San Francisco-based company with 140 million monthly users and a market valuation of $8.7 billion hopes that their role in the Olympics will expand its role on the Web. “This is a way for new users to sample Twitter,” said Twitter VP of Media Chloe Sladden.
Although Twitter did not release how much it would make from the Olympics, the company has been planning this for months, hosting events with athletes and sports associations, pitching their service to them. Twitter will even be available offline, because the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel dominating the skyline, will light up each night based on the sentiment of Olympic tweets, although it is not part of Twitter’s official campaign.
“There’s no way of knowing exactly how much advertisers will spend on Twitter during the Olympics, but there is no doubt they will be jockeying for ad space during some of the key events of the Games, when traffic on Twitter will explode,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said.