- Twitter partnered with England's Football Association on a direct message (DM) bot that will send video highlights to overseas soccer fans starting with the third round of the Emirates FA Cup on Jan. 4. Twitter will release as many as four highlights for each half of live tournament games until the final match on May 18, The Drum reported.
- Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur followers in more than 10 markets including the U.S., India, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt and Nigeria can sign up for the DM program. Twitter will put a sign-up card in the news feeds of those followers and other enthusiasts based on their content choices, Adweek reported.
- Input Media and content media agency Social Chain are producing the clips. The Football Association and Twitter plan to expand the DM feature for more teams and markets next year, per Adweek.
Twitter's main distinction as a social network is the immediacy of its content, making the platform well-suited for breaking news. The deal with England's Football Association is the social media platform's latest move to strengthen its ties with sports organizations as it looks to boost user engagement and appeal to major brands with big ad budgets. Twitter in March signed a three-year deal to stream Major League Soccer matches that broadcast on Univision networks, after losing the rights to stream National Football League games to Amazon in 2017. It previously had won the rights to stream 10 "Thursday Night Football" games during the 2016 season.
Twitter last year published research by Neuro-Insight US that showed how Twitter increases engagement with live sporting events 31% more than watching TV alone. The platform also boosts viewer recall of watched events by 35%. Potentially more importantly, the combination of Twitter usage and TV viewership lifted ad engagement by 42% and recall by 52%, according to the study.
A chatbot that sends video highlights of sporting matches is another useful application of automated messaging technology. Consumers must opt in to receive the content, which then helps platforms and marketers glean more insight into user preferences for future content targeting.
Twitter has gradually expanded the capabilities of its DM bots to handle a wider range of functions, such as welcome messages, auto-generated replies, profiles and location sharing between friends. Brands including Samsung, MTV, TBS, Wendy's, and Patrón have used Twitter's chatbot software to create personalized marketing campaigns through chatbots. Patrón's "Bot-Tender" drove a 39% click-through rate, pointing to how chatbots can help marketers drive stronger campaign results.