TWITTER HAS ARRIVED – BUT IS IT HERE TO STAY?
One-Hour Documentary Reported by CNBC's Carl Quintanilla
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS,N.J., July 25, 2013—Twitter has been called the pulse of the planet—home to Lady Gaga, LeBron, foreign revolutionaries, journalists, tech geeks and the Pope himself. It feeds our celebrity obsession, reports history in real time and is used around the world by those who have power…and those who want it.
On Wednesday, August 7th at 9PM ET/PT, CNBC Prime presents #TwitterRevolution,a one-hour documentary reported by Carl Quintanilla that tells the story behind the rise of Twitter, the social media giant whose 200 million active users have made it a fixture at home and across the globe. Some 400 million tweets fly through the air every day—snippets of sarcasm and snark, humor, headlines,thoughtful analysis and mindless drivel. In just seven years, Twitter has radically altered media, politics, activism and advertising. Once a novelty, it is now the New Big Thing.
CNBC explores Twitter's growing reach through the lens of the Boston Marathon bombing, from the first tweet sent just seconds after the initial explosion through the subsequent days as the investigation unfolds. In 140 characters or less, eyewitnesses,journalists, politicians, the Boston Police Department, and even one of the alleged bombers use Twitter to share information and tell their stories. In the wake of this tragedy, the social media giant emerged as a powerful cultural force enabling anyone with a Twitter handle to follow along in real time.
Quintanilla takes viewers inside Twitter's new headquarters and speaks with CEO Dick Costolo and founder Jack Dorsey. Launched in 2006, the service took off in popularity, but not in profits. For years, the company barely made a nickel, and it wasn't until 2010 that it opened its doors to advertisers—a strategy that risks cluttering an open forum with commercial ad messages. CNBC asks whether Twitter can win over the millions of people who don't understand the product or won't embrace another digital distraction.
Twitter is a place with few rules and relative anonymity, which can invite trouble. The documentary explores a culture of gossip and rumor prevalent on the platform by examining the aftermath of a sexual assault involving high school football players and underage girls in a Connecticut town. What transpired on Twitter following the alleged crime shocked many parents, students and administrators, and offered a stark lesson in the difficulties of navigating what can be a social media minefield.
Today, 80% of Americans who own a smartphone or tablet watch TV with a remote in one hand and their device in the other. Fora generation of multitaskers, Twitter has turned TV into a new experience,offering users a way to follow their favorite TV shows and live sporting events alongside thousands of others. CNBC explores this "second screen"phenomenon, going behind the scenes with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs during the NBA Finals to see how some of its biggest stars, including the Heat's Chris Bosh, engage with fans on Twitter. With two-thirds of its players on the platform, the NBA reaches more than 130 million fans, giving it the largest presence on social media of any sports league.
CNBC also profiles young dissidents in the Middle East who use Twitter to protest oppressive regimes;some of these activists have gone to prison as a result. Roughly seventy percent of Twitter's users are from outside the U.S., tweeting in 35 languages.Calling it the "global town square," CEO Dick Costolo says the company won't stop until it reaches every person on the planet.
Leading up to the premiere,CNBC's official Twitter account will engage with its more than 1.1M followers about whether they would pay to use Twitter, if and when they believe a rumored IPO will take place, and more. CNBC is also sharing behind-the-scenes photos and stories related to Twitter and the documentary. Stay tuned for additional #TwitterRevolution teaser videos (https://twitter.com/cnbc).
For more information including web extras, log on to: cnbc.com/twitterrevolution.
Mitch Weitzner is the Senior Executive Producer of #TwitterRevolution. Mary Noonan is the Senior Producer. Na Eng and James Segelstein are Producers and Michael Beyman is Associate Producer. Ray Borelli is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.
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