Speculation that Twitter would partner with NBC Universal as an official narrator for the London Summer Olympics has been confirmed. The site hopes to use the opportunity to appeal to big advertisers and gain some ground in competing with Facebook.
General Electric and Procter & Gamble are reportedly among the big brands buying ads on Twitter due to their association with the Olympics but NBC Universal told the Wall Street Journal it would not be getting a share of Twitter’s ad revenue.
Research firm, eMarket, estimated in January that Twitter would generate $259.9 million in ad revenue this year, but Facebook is still a titan with the $5.78 billion in ad revenue it is expected to generate.
According to the Journal, the microblogging site also plans to highlight insiders’ views and to encourage people to watch NBC’s on-air and online coverage. Twitter will embed its own staffer with NBC’s social media team in London to ensure fresh news, interviews and links to TV highlights will show up on Twitter. The Olympics “hashtag,” or single-topic organization tool, will pop up on screen during television coverage, NBC said.
A dedicated team will be working “20 hours a day to help corral millions of Twitter messages from Olympic athletes, their families, fans and NBC television personalities into a single page,” according to the Journal.
Users will be able to sample the social media site, known for sometimes being an online battlefield, stay updated on events, to cheer for teams they love and to trash talk rival teams, all in real-time. GE and others believe “the 2012 Games to be a pinnacle of social activity” and expect traffic on Twitter to “explode” during the Games.