All about engagement

Keya Madhvani

Keya Madhvani   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

When I spoke to celebrity chef Ranveer Brar a few months ago, he said he was looking forward to the upcoming season of his Twitter video series, Ranveer on the Road. While Twitter is not considered the go-to destination for video content, the company has been trying to shake things up on this front by collaborating with musicians, chefs, comedians, and even live events like the Filmfare Awards, to generate quality content exclusively for the platform.

“Twitter’s strength is that it is live, public and conversational,” the company’s India head of music and lifestyle partnerships, Keya Madhvani, tells The Hindu over the phone from the US. “Creators in food, fashion and music are now creating content that is short and snappy, which audiences love. However, it is a misconception that every social media channel shares the same language. Our role is to help content creators understand the language of the platform.”

Madhvani says that Twitter’s partnership programme, Amplify, is designed to ensure content creators can monetise the content they produce for Twitter and be compensated. On its part, Twitter has been attempting to capture the smaller, personal moments behind the big events, for which we head to platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Madhvani cites examples like food blogger Nandita Iyer’s TwitterTadka poll to Periscope (a Twitter-owned live-streaming service), where her followers define the ingredients and what she makes. Twitter has also tied up with DJ duo Lost Stories, to document the entire run-up to their performance at the Tomorrowland music festival, on the platform.

Brar began his travel and food-focused video series with a sojourn around Australia, after an event where Tourism Australia wanted to figure out how to engage with people better. He has now received the support of the Seychelles Tourism Board, where the current 15-episode season of the show is shot. For Brar, who has plenty of experience hosting cooking shows on television, the three-minute episode format adopted for the series was a new challenge. “Trying to create a story in two-and-a-half minutes is something I wasn’t used to. But nowadays, more people access information on their cell phones and attention span is lower, so the takeaway from these stories has to be really quick,” he says.

He explains that he managed to make the medium work by leaning on the hallmark of Twitter as a platform of individual engagement. “TV is saturated, and there, a host just has a one-way conversation with the audience. With this format, I don’t need to speak about the best dish in Seychelles, which is just a Google search away, but on my take on it and what I feel.” The chef follows up each episode by interacting with users on Periscope .

In a time when Twitter is associated with degenerating political debate and general outrage, the company is making swift, smart moves to build upon its strengths and offer users content that catches the eye. How this pans out will be an interesting story.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 4:49:54 PM |

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