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by Simon Jenkins | 25.09.2014

As expected from Twitter, I arrive at a rather stunning hotel tucked away in the backstreets of Piccadilly. You can usually spot a Social Media event by the guy on his iPhone8 stood outside the venue wearing Google Glass, some skinny jeans and sporting an enviable moustache. Welcome to #TwitterWorks.

This is actually Twitter’s first event in quite a while and it gave them a chance to update the 100 or so guests about what’s new, and importantly, what’s working! MD of Twitter UK, Bruce Daisley was first up to welcome us to the event and give us an idea of what to expect from the morning. It was fairly clear that was a slightly different event. No huge announcements echoing an Apple event, but rather a presentation of some research being conducted by the team and how that’s shaping particular brand strategies. The agenda was as follows:

  1. The Unconscious Impact of Twitter
  2. The Everyday Opportunity
  3. More Mobile
  4. Creativity Works
  5. Buy Now on Twitter

We’ve been told about and have indeed by talking about content and Twitter for an awful long time; the real-time nature of communication and using identified ‘moments’ to engage with the right people. I think there’s a general feeling that this ‘concept’ has become relatively stale with it almost becoming stating the bleedin’ obvious!

What really impressed me was the way in which Twitter have taken it upon themselves to find a new angle to reiterate this point, a far cry from someone stood on stage preaching, “content is king”.


They talked about how users interact with Twitter, what it makes them feel. It was based on research, and when I say research, I really mean RESEARCH! Twitter has been working alongside some boffins from Cambridge University analysing how we use Twitter. This led to a live demonstration on stage with someone hooked up a futuristic brain wave head-piece (not its official name). It measured how people’s brains react to Twitter in relation to, or up against regular online use. It was quite refreshing to see some hard evidence that users have an emotional connection with Twitter; a trust in a brand’s content and that to RT, Favourite, click something is a choice. Another great piece of research conducted over the past year involved creating a fake brand on Twitter with fake branding, fake content, but with the back story that this brand was soon to launch in the UK. Twitter then created different variables of the same brand:

–       High / low follower numbers

–       High / low following numbers

–       Various styles of Tweet: competition, real-time #LFW etc.

It showed the various factors that can influence people’s attraction to a brand and what influencers our trust. Fascinating research.

This was a relatively long section, but it needed to be. The key takeaways were:


–       Make branding instantly identifiable

–       Drive a strong emotional response

–       Prompt interaction

–       Capitalise on anticipation

–       Incorporate narrative


Finally Bruce took back to the stage to discuss something pretty exciting. Twitter and Amazon have been in partnership for a good while now testing Amazon Basket (or Amazon Cart in the US). We weren’t really given any idea as to the success of this, but were told it has prompted the development of Twitter’s next release, Buy Now.

Strangely for Twitter, they’re beginning to talk about Buy Now whilst it’s in beta. To my knowledge, this is the first time they’ve done this. I imagine because of the vast number of speculative blogs and articles that are out there… and partly because of it’s soft launch in the US. The concept of Buy Now is effortlessly simply… If you’re scrolling through your Twitter stream on mobile (which 80% of UK users do) and you see a Tweet from your favourite sports team (posting about their new jersey, as an example), the Tweet will have a Buy Now button embedded within it. Seamless purchasing. Little information was given in regards to the consumer journey, whether card details, delivery info are auto-stored, but the announcement didn’t need that just yet. There was enough info given to have our brains thinking about some pretty exciting client applications.

I was coincidentally sat next to Oli Snoddy, Director of Global Marketing Strategy at Twitter. I asked him when Buy Now was to be released in the UK. Long story short, it sounds like this is being dictated by the US. We’ll see. Twitter have started teasing information about another event in March. We can’t guarantee what the content will be, but you can guarantee it’ll be as slick as ever