Twitter Canada wants to capture the “social soundtrack” of our country

Behind the 17th hole at the Glenn Abbey Golf Club in Oakville is Christopher Doyle, Twitter Canada’s head of Sports/Media Partnerships. He’s sitting on my left holding the glamorous and powerful Twitter Mirror, which is an iPad in a handheld case that the company uses to stream live pictures during highly publicized events.

Twitter is on deck at the RBC Canadian Open and capturing every bogey, birdie, par, eagle and albatross. The instant communication tool founded by Jack Dorsey is now used by over 300 million people around the world. Doyle is one of many Canadians who have flocked to the Twitter nest and believes the company is one of the most instant ways to engage and receive valuable data.

How many people use Twitter in Canada?

We do not publicly break down statistics per country, but comScore’s April stats showed 14 million Canadians use Twitter and Vine properties. Eighty per cent of people are experiencing Twitter by using the mobile app. Twitter was born in mobile and that is why it’s so ubiquitous and an amazing tool.

What has been the most impactful use of Twitter engagement?

When we look back on the data from 2014 it is amazing to see the most Tweeted moments. Sochi gold medal games because Canadians love hockey. Then you saw those tragic shootings in Ottawa and Moncton people were reaching out to connect with that community for support — pray for Ottawa, pray for Moncton. They are also using it to get news and information all the time.

Then you have these events activations like the Canadian Open that are “in the moment” experiences. We had the Twitter Mirror activations at the World Junior Hockey Championships, FIFA Women’s World Cup, PanAm Games, NHL All-Star and with the Draft where they did a Periscope interview with virtually every player that was drafted and was a live Q&A right after they were drafted.

I think what we’ve found is that our partners and consumers are using Twitter in unique ways and our partners are continuing to innovate with it. One of the things that we’ve done with the platform and that’s really exciting is that we now have mobile upload consumer video, so anyone can take a video with their phone and Tweet it out, almost instantly. So it’s those types of products when those launch it actually brings a whole new round of innovation. When innovation happens new opportunity arises.

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You classify an “event” as basically anything and everything that happens.

Essentially. Because we are so real time that it’s the social soundtrack of these moments as they happen. Everything that happens there is a Twitter component to it. We are always on.

How do you manage the expectation of Twitter while keeping it a communication tool?

Twitter is a very powerful tool for good and I know that one of the priorities for our product team is to enhance and improve the way you look at abuse on the platform and there has been significant upgrades in that area. We also have “Twitter for Good,” which is how we connect with people and connect with causes we care about.

What is Twitter doing next in Canada?

On the horizon right now coming up quickly is the Federal election that is happening in October. The debates are upcoming right now and as these moments happen they take to Twitter. From a sporting perspective, Rogers Cup Tennis in August, and then preparing for the hockey season as well.

From an entrepreneurial standpoint, how do you think Twitter has impacted Canadians?

It is a really powerful way to have a personal relationship with customers. We’ve seen people get so creative with it and have such a great experience with it that allows them to connect to people like never before. The power to build up a brand, to build up a following and communicate with them regarding a content strategy is a powerful combination.

Ian Hardy

Ian Hardy

Ian is publisher at MobileSyrup. He's been quietly creating and building things for years and is completely addicted to Tim Hortons.