How the MTV Movie Awards Rocked Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter

By Devon Glenn 

Less stuffy than the Oscars, the MTV Movie Awards inspires fashion risks and public outbursts as stars vie for buckets of golden popcorn and dubious honors like “Best On-Screen Dirtbag.” It’s one of MTV’s biggest events of the year, which is why the network leaves little to chance, giving viewers the tools to spread the word about the show. This year, the best moments played out on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter as fans discussed more than 100 trending topics from their mobile devices while they watched.  “We try to take advantage of what each platform does best,” said Michael Scogin, VP of mobile for MTV.


Highlights from the show played out in animated photographs (.gif) on the Tumblr page, like the moment that Johnny Depp joined the Black Keys on stage. The talent also had access to a .gif photo booth where they could take their own pictures. The memes whipped through Tumblr and onto Facebook and Twitter, where they could relive the same two seconds to infinity.

Fans also contributed reviews of the show on their blogs, which are too long-winded to detail here, but suffice it to say that some Harry Potter fans were not thrilled that Twilight took home the award for “Movie of the Year.”


On Facebook, MTV tested out a new visualization tool. When the team posted a memorable moment on the Facebook page, a voting mechanism tracked comments, likes, and tweets to make the most popular ones stand out among the rest. “We choose to roll out innovation around our biggest awards,” Scogin explained. “It’s stressful for us, but it’s best for our audience.”

Viewers were more than happy to talk about the results of the show on Facebook, as is evidenced by the abundance of likes and comments on Twilight star Taylor Lautner’s acceptance speech.


The award show’s social voting category, “Best Hero,” garnered 1 million votes that were cast using hashtags on Twitter. As the numbers rose in real time on MTV’s homepage, voters could recruit their friends to keep the momentum going for their favorite character. “You can imagine that fans can get engaged and try to one-up each other,” said Scogin. In the end, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter took home the prize.

MTV got the talent involved by setting up a “social guide” to help them tweet like pros throughout the event. The team also provided an auto-text for fans to send their congratulations to the winners. Not that the audience members were at a loss for words. See their thoughts in this Storified Twitter stream below (with a bonus tweet from singer Katy Perry).