A staple I do in all interviews in order to start things off is to ask that you elaborate a bit about your work and the position you have with Twitter?
Andrea: I’m Andrea MacDonald, Head of Tech and Telco at Twitter Canada. In my role, I am focused on helping the biggest and best brands in Canada unlock the power of Twitter. I lead an amazing team of talented Client Partners, and it is my privilege to foster their continuous professional development every day.
I understand some impressive numbers have been seen on Twitter in regards to gaming. Could you tell us a bit about what the statistics show? What’s driving this explosive growth in metrics?
Andrea: Gamers have been flocking to Twitter in record numbers this year. More than one billion Tweets about gaming were sent in the first half of 2020 alone. For example, conversations around the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 grew immensely in recent weeks as gaming fans worldwide anticipated the launch of these two consoles.
It’s great to hear about people’s interest in gaming-related Tweets. Looking specifically at the Canadian market, how do the numbers play out locally and regionally?
Andrea: Calgary has the fourth highest volume of both Xbox and PlayStation mentions in Canada for 2020. Xbox Twitter mentions from Calgary have increased 27% year-over-year in 2020. PlayStation mentions have increased 21%. This compares all mentions from Calgary users of these consoles from January 1 to October 31, 2020 versus the same date range in 2019.
When it comes to the next generation of consoles, Xbox Series X and Playstation 5, what sort of metrics have you seen in the usage of their particular hashtags and the engagements that follow?
Andrea: Key hashtags used in the gaming conversation on Twitter have been #Xbox, #XboxSeriesX, #PlayStation5 and #PS5. These hashtags saw spikes corresponding to notable brand events for Xbox and Playstation and moments when new information was revealed about the anticipated consoles.
For example, Twitter conversations about the Xbox Series X grew significantly (508 % compared to the 30-day average prior) during the Xbox Games Showcase event when key features and details about the console were revealed.
There were similar conversation spikes around the PlayStation 5, Future of Gaming event, with Tweet volumes increasing by 750% on the event day and around the PlayStation 5 Showcase event, which saw a 690% increase in Tweet volumes day-of.
The numbers obviously change from year to year. What sort of growth do you see in either platform compared with the 2019 numbers?
Andrea: From a year-over-year perspective, we have certainly seen an increase in growth on the platform regarding the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5. For both consoles, there were more Twitter mentions between Jan 1 and July 31, 2020 than there were in all of 2019. Between Jan 1 and Oct 31, 2020, daily Xbox mentions had grown by 124% and PlayStation mentions had grown by 194%, compared to 2019.
Do you feel that the conversation on Twitter drives consumers towards the consoles, or builds hype for individuals who might want to purchase a next-generation console?
Andrea: Absolutely. In the weeks leading up to the launch days, Twitter conversations regarding both consoles grew across the globe. With conversations increasing at the rate we’ve seen YoY and leading up to the launches of these highly anticipated consoles, it’s clear that a significant community of gamers on the platform are coming together to share in the excitement and discussions of the new gaming products on Twitter.
A recent study shows that Twitter users get more inspiration from social media when it comes to gaming gift ideas than they do for gift ideas in other product categories like toys, apparel or beauty products. There’s no doubt that the Twitter conversation plays a role in purchase consideration for consumers. It also provides the go-to platform for gamers to build the type of hype that make moments like the launch of the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 so exciting.
Do you feel these trends indicate temporary growth, or do the numbers show they may continue to grow towards the holidays and the start of 2021?
Andrea: The conversations have hit a new gear with the retail launches of the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 and we anticipate a continued upwards trend. These consoles will be hot sellers following their launch and for the upcoming Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping season. Both Xbox and PlayStation will be a big part of these conversations on Twitter.
While we’ve talked a lot about individuals interacting with either platform, what about the companies themselves. Has there been an increase in engagement from either the Xbox or Playstation Twitter accounts directly from both a global and local market perspective?
Andrea: We’ve definitely seen an increase in daily Tweet volumes about Xbox and PlayStation in 2020. In Canada, from January 1 to October 31, 2020, Xbox Tweets grew by 118.54% and PlayStation Tweets grew by 234.82%.
Here are the top countries globally with an increase in the volume of Tweets about each brand:
● Turkey (351.3%)
● Philippines (219.81%)
● Brazil (291.98%)
● Turkey (414.6%)
● Philippines (399.45%)
● Brazil (320.74%)
The data mentions Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the shopping season in general. Do you feel Twitter will be a large part of the conversation when it comes to gaming during this time of year?
Andrea: Yes! Both Xbox and PlayStation will be a big part of these conversations. Twitter is a place where consumers go to connect, curate ideas, find inspiration and inform their decisions.
The connective nature of the platform will certainly provide a forum for discussion of user experiences with the consoles, excitement about the consoles and for general conversation within the gaming community throughout Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the shopping season in general.
Lastly, I would like to leave a spot for you to say something or go over anything I might have missed during the interview. Anything to add?
Andrea: I’d like to add that the way the gaming conversation has taken shape on Twitter - particularly around the retail launches of these two next-generation gaming consoles - is a great example of how Twitter is the perfect platform for Canadian brands to launch something new or connect with what’s happening in the world.
It offers brands a blend of dynamic content, real-time conversation and a true connection to culture that can’t be found anywhere else. We’re proud of the gaming community we have on the platform. It’s these types of communities that make Twitter engaging and keep us Tweeting.
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