Yesterday was a big day for Twitter – the company premiered its first ever TV commercial during a NASCAR race, which showed off a brand-new hashtag page that could open a new and very welcome revenue stream for the micro-blogging platform.
Click on the #NASCAR hashtag anywhere on Twitter and you’ll be redirected to a standalone page that showcases a ton of NASCAR content, including team information, photos, driver commentary and more.
Twitter hinted at what was coming in a blog post last week, and the ad was shown during the NASCAR Pocono 400 on TNT on Sunday. As you might expect, given that this is coming from Twitter and intended to appeal to motor racing fans, the commercial was short and sweet – 16 seconds, to be precise.
To be clear, Twitter isn’t looking to take over all hashtags used throughout the network, but likely will be offering these customized pages to brands willing to pay out for a more intensive, tailored experience for fans. Essentially, it gives marketers greater control over the volume and kinds of content that is shared, and allows fans to bypass the noise that is typical (and often overwhelming) with a ‘normal’ hashtag, especially those surrounding sports and other major events. For example, these hashtag pages would work very (and equally) well with something like The X Factor or the London Olympics.
At this stage, it’s not known if any and all hashtags will be made available to the highest bidder, or just those that are directly related to brands. Personally, I think it’s highly unlikely that Twitter will look to commercially exploit the entire hashtag ecosystem – after all, this would make them as ‘guilty’ as the spammers who do this now – but these pages could provide a welcome source of income for the company as it continues to search for profitability.
What do you think? Do you like the commercial? Do you think these new hashtag pages are a smart move from Twitter? Hit the comments to let us know.