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Why Ellen's Oscars Selfie Was a Win for Twitter

By Felicia Gooden – Mar 5, 2014 at 2:45PM

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Ellen broke Twitter with her star-studded selfie at the Oscars on March 2, which was a major win for Twitter as a company. Why?

Because she didn't share it -- she didn't pin it, she didn't Instagram it, she didn't blog it; she tweeted it. She wasn't seeking the most pins, the most shares, or the most reblogs -- Ellen Degenres orchestrated an epic selfie with multiple A-list actors and actresses to see if she could get the most what? Retweets! Not only was the attempt a huge success, but it's also still viral and getting tons of media coverage -- living on in public conversations.


With 3.2 million plus retweets, this photo is the epitome of Twitter's CEO, Dick Costolo's vision for the social media site. At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Costolo placed clear emphasis on the fact that Twitter (TWTR) is a content, communication, and data platform that serves and as an indispensable companion to life in the moment.

The company's latest efforts to bring media, including photos and videos, to the forefront and text-links to the back within tweets booted the number of retweets and used hashtags by 25% in 2013, and this award-winning start to boosting the effectiveness of having real-time conversations around moments is promising. Costolo takes pride in the fact that Twitter's LiveTweeting during the entertainment show and events around the world is so unique and effective. 

Costolo sees Twitter as a complement to other forms of media -- including entertainment, sports, etc. -- and he feels that it is a great tool for creating engaging marketing and advertising content to reach a broad audience. Advertisers are able to get a better understanding of their target audiences and create inviting and engaging content based on the public conversation going on around each moment. The platform brings the challenge to marketers and copywriters to develop campaigns and in-the-moment pitches to consumers. The conversation serves as the canvas, and markets now have to get involved in the conversation, bringing innovation. 

Twitter's fourth quarter was impressive
For fourth quarter 2013, Twitter continued to improve return on investment for its advertisers by "launching a number of new advertising products including TV Conversation Targeting, Tailored Audiences, Conversion Tracking and Promoted Accounts in Timeline." The company also launched a self-serve advertising platform for small businesses in UK, Ireland, and Canada. Advertising revenue for Q4 was $243 million, with advertising revenue comprising $220 million.

The company expects revenue to be between $1.15 billion to $1.2 billion in 2014, with adjusted EBITDA between $150 million to $180 million. Impressive user engagement such as that used by Hollywood this past weekend makes the outlook for the next fiscal year and many years to come look bright. 

This photo was just the beginning of the delivery on Costolo's vision for Twitter's role in the Internet of Things. With over 645 million users, the real-time, social media site has the profile population to keep advertisers and marketers coming back to expand their customer/fan base. This star-studded event served as not only an eye-opener for users, media outlets, and advertisers, but it also proved a point to investors for the long term that Twitter has what it takes to deliver on it's vision and promises, especially when it's ready to handle the traffic without crashing. 

So while Facebook (META 1.64%) parades around the world working to make the Internet accessible for all, Twitter sticks to its own plan and blazes a technological trail for success by using real-time conversation and personal analysis -- via study of one's followers and following statistics -- to its advantage for maintaining a successful business model that stands out.

Great job Hollywood! You really know how to put on a show! I'm sure Twitter thanks you for your cooperation and partnership.

Felicia Gooden has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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