Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

#wt20: How Twitter hit the ball out of the park

Written by Sahil Malhotra | New Delhi | Posted: April 14, 2014 5:41 pm

Twitter’s partnership with the International Cricket Council for the recently concluded ICC World T20 injected a fresh lease of life into cricket’s social and vocal discussions

The usual flavour of the World T20 got a spicy addition when Twitter, in association with the International Cricket Council, changed the way the game was talked about, at least on Twitter – a platform which reacted very late to cricket. With its innovations both on and off the field, the social networking website took audience engagement to a new level. Twitter ensured not to over do the garnishing, and maintained an appropriate level of engagement right through the tournament.

When ICC shared Yuvraj Singh’s cool selfie with Virat Kohli, the Twitter world not only received it with both arms wide open, but sustained the momentum created by the snap which went viral in no time.

There were some raised eyebrows on what this was all about, but the flavour only got better as the tournament progressed. Healthy football debates and discussions are a run-of-the-mill when it comes to Twitter. But cricket? This was a welcome change. Soon the discussions gathered steam and got the much needed direction. There was no confusion, as most of the cricket lovers rue, about the trending hashtags. Want your voice to reach the masses? #wt20 was definitely the highway. With ICC coming into fray, the seriousness reached a new level. Yes, there were some usual Twitter tweets, but cricketing discussions and engagement reached a new level when the players started to participate actively in the same. Remember how Chris Gayle expressed his emotions after West Indies beat Australia and how Dale Steyn reacted after the Proteas went down in the semifinal against India?

After the wave of intelligent tweeting, Twitter Mirror was a welcome and refreshing change. Something which was not tried earlier. Yes, the selfie concept is nothing new, but the whole personal touch hit the chord which matters – the emotional chord. Both Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are institutions for Sri Lankan cricket, and the duo’s emotional, and personalised selfie, after the final signed off the event and their T20 careers in fitting fashion.

The World T20 got the viewers, especially the intelligent viewer, a touch closer to the game as #AskAkram, #AskSourav and #AskShane allowed them to interact with their heroes on cricket and anything they wished to ask. It was exciting to see Sourav Ganguly respond to all sorts of questions. From his time with daughter and whether he is continued…

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