Best Branded Content: Twitter Celebrates 10 Years in 140 Characters

First published on FINE mingle.
 

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Twitter creates a video that shares 10 years’ worth of content, user-generated, of course. Curating tweets from around the world, this visual diary does more than remind people what they’ve been talking about for over a decade; it’s a reminder of the connective tissue of where they’ve been talking about it—Twitter.

Content is segmented into four categories, as Twitter thanks its community for: making history, driving change, lifting each other up, and laughing together every day. Broad, sure, but each is expertly punctuated with video and corresponding tweets talking about moments in real time (at the time). These pairings almost involuntarily emote the same feelings experienced then.

The groups of content also highlight Twitter’s unparalleled platform of topics and unmistakable global access, gleamed from the diversity of chosen moments (the Pope visiting America to some poor guy trying to shovel his driveway), the powerful and “every-day” people talking about them (President Barack Obama to activists), and the regions they’re doing it from (all over the world).

Messaging is two-fold, from the actual tweets to the draft tweet being composed by Twitter throughout the 2.5 minutes, talking to its audience directly by narrating what they’re seeing. The decision to communicate in this method is so perfectly on brand, up to and especially the struggle to make it all fit in 140 characters. Reaching the end, Twitter’s final edit, turning Love, Twitter instead into #LoveTwitter spawns a new hashtag that auto generates emojis when others tweet it, too. A new tactic Twitter has been testing this year.

Beyond the celebratory video, Twitter also spent its birthday thanking some of its most famous accounts, reminding them of the trends and hashtags they’ve inspired, like Katy Perry’s #LeftShark, while simultaneously showcasing the social app’s impact on our various cultural societies.

As a final, subtle brand push, all content is done through, or accompanied by, video. Twitter launched its own native video in 2015, encouraging users to record and share without ever switching to another platform, and then later purchased Periscope for nearly $100 million. So the way in which Twitter celebrated its birthday is truly no surprise—just good business.

In recent years, social media platforms have really upped the standards of reminding users how big of a part they play in their lives, whether it’s always recognized or not. But when this promotion is strategized to be communicated as a value-add, the reminder is really more about how easily the world is now connected, and how nice that can sometimes be.