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Exclusive with Twitter India: ‘We’d love to have Ajith join Twitter for his fans’

Twitter India says that ‘Thala-Thalapathy’ fan discussions are part of Tamil movie culture

Twitter India says that ‘Thala-Thalapathy’ fan discussions are part of Tamil movie culture  

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The micro-blogging site on south Indian film fan culture on social media, ‘Bigil’ and Vijay dominating 2019, and why Tamil and Telugu cinema have loyal followers

So, you wake up one fine morning and log in to Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world. And what do you find out? That a certain #Thala film has completed 19 years. Or, get an update about the ongoing shoot of a #Thalapathy film in a remote district in India.

Twitter is the place to be, if you’re a Tamil cinema fan. This is where all the action happens — be it the release of a motion poster, the annoucement of release date or even a font look! 2019 saw a huge spike in Kollywood’s engagement with the social media platform, with most official annoucements taking place there. Excerpts from an email interaction with Cheryl Ann Couto, Partnerships Manager, Twitter India:

How important is Tamil cinema trends in terms of importance and popularity on the platform?

Millions of fans turn to Twitter to find out what’s happening in real time, especially in the world of entertainment. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a growing popularity around Tamil entertainment on the service. The impact of this popularity is evident as Bigil landed on the sixth position of the ‘ten most tweeted about’ hashtags of 2019. In fact, there was so much anticipation around the film that Vijay’s tweet sharing the movie’s poster becoming the ‘most retweeted tweet’ in entertainment this year.

 

What does Twitter India feel about the ‘Thala-Thalapathy’ or ‘Ajith-Vijay’ fan clashes among fans on its platform?

Our platform represents what is happening in the real world, and people who watch Tamil films are passionate fans of their stars! The conversations around Thala-Thalapathy are a reflection of how people feel off the platform too. As long as these discussions remain healthy, they’re a part of Tamil film culture.

How is Tamil cinema’s presence on the medium when compared to other film industries?

South Indian films, particularly Tamil and Telugu cinema, generate a lot of conversation from loyal fans here. A good example of this is the prevalence of Tamil and Telugu films in the top ten most-tweeted about hashtags list for the past few years.

While in 2017, Mersal topped conversations charts, with 1 million tweets within a single day, emerging as the Top Hashtag Trend of the Year, films such as Baahubali 2, Vivegam and Spyder broke several records. Bigg Boss Tamil has garnered high volumes of conversations as well. In 2017, Suriya Sivakumar’s tweet unveiling the second look for Thaana Serndha Koottam became the ‘Golden Tweet’ or most retweeted tweet of the year in India.

In 2018, Sarkar generated conversations on its political theme, making it to the list of our ‘most influential moments’ of the year. Other films like Viswasam, Bharat Ane Nenu, Aravindha Sametha, Rangasthalam, Kaala and Bigg Boss Telugu 2 sparked discussion as well.

This year, Bigil received huge engagement on the platform; the movie garnered over 6 million tweets within a time span of 10 days during its release period.

How serious are producers of south Indian cinema about promotions on the platform?

Recognising our relevance in driving quality conversations, which lead to increased buzz around a movie or property, several production houses in the south have partnered with us this year. From ‘Blue Room’ conversations to Q&As, directors and cast members have engaged with fans. For example, the team worked with Saaho’s stars Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhas to take fan questions live, and upcoming film, Darbar’s music composer, Anirudh Ravichander, tweeted responses to more than 60 fans’ questions on Twitter with #AskAnirudh.

How do you see a film having its own emoji being beneficial to its promotions?

Five South Indian movies have received customised emojis; they are NGK, Kaala, Mersal, Bigil and Saaho. Customised emojis enhance the tweeting experience for fans, making it more fun.

Ajith is not on social media or Twitter, but anything to do with his ‘#Thala’ trends all day. Has Twitter India ever reached out to him?

We’d love to have Ajith on Twitter, especially given how much his fans love engaging with each other and his movies on the service.

Among the younger stars/celebrities in Tamil cinema, who are likely to have a big influence on their fans via the platform?

As per 2019 data, Anirudh Ravichander, Rakul Preet Singh and Vijay Deverakonda have emerged as active accounts on the platform. We are confident that people like these and several other artists from the industry will gain further popularity on the platform in the coming years.

How do you expect Tamil cinema presence on Twitter to grow in 2020?

We definitely expect greater engagement from this community, especially as we have clearly identified it as an area of importance for us. Tamil is the most-used Indian language, after Hindi and English on Twitter. We’re witnessing the growing curiosity of stakeholders in Tamil cinema, whether it’s production houses, actors, directors, music producers or the most important of all: fans. We reckon you’re going to see some great content innovations and believe the Tamil community will only grow in the years to come.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 9:17:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/exclusive-with-twitter-india-wed-love-to-have-ajith-join-twitter-for-his-fans/article30419212.ece

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