There are an average of 200 weather related tweets per minute in America, with that number spiking to 2 million on a day of severe weather. Now Twitter has partnered with The Weather Channel to push weather related tweets onto its enormously well-trafficked cable network and website, with the two groups splitting the ad revenue.
For Twitter this an opportunity to finalyl use its scale and speed in a partnership that can rake in good revenue. For New York based Trendrr, this was a chance to work behind the scenes on a massive deal. The company will be doing the semantic analysis to separate a tweet about a sudden rain shower from a tweet about your decision to take a quick shower after the gym.
“Clearly, news programs are integrating social networking in broadcasts as a platform for viewer interaction, but news agencies are just beginning to tap into social intelligence as a means to drive real time reporting and listening. The Weather Channel takes listening and reporting to an entirely new level by leveraging the social channel and participation of its audience in real-time to achieve,” wrote Trendrr CEO Mark Ghuneim. He continued with a simple argument about the importance of Twitter to real time news event and the massive revenue stream to be unlocked if this kind of integration with TV continues across sports and politics.
- Compelling integrated social user experience
- Better on the ground reporting
- Real-time (web/apps/on-air) updates
- Improve SEO (by having real-time changing content and context)
- Unlocking the value of the Twitter fire hoseFor news media the challenge is how to handle the volume and velocity and turn noise to a signal and context that makes Twitter in this case actionable.
With The Weather Channel’s initiative, we see social data evolve into an actionable state. This goes beyond art-project or colorful data visualization. In this case, social streams become a utility and an important new programming layer—something other TV networks can learn from.
Social data is becoming increasingly contextual and useful, evolving from a mass of user outreach to a more effective communicative medium, adding an important news-programming layer. We expect all news to be informed by its audience in some manner over the next few years. We have already seen integration into political coverage (think Obama’s Twitter campaign re: the debt ceiling vote) and one-off events (that guy in Abbottabad who inadvertently live-tweeted the bin Laden mission), but now we are seeing the next generation of data as content that informs broadcasts in real time to enrich the user experience across devices.