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Without Ellen’s Selfie, Oscar Tweets Fall By Nearly 50%
Probable cause is a smaller TV audience and less buzzworthy show. Meanwhile, Facebook reports Oscar engagement growth of 50%.
Turns out Ellen’s selfie is a very tough act to follow. Without anything like the impromptu-yet-staged photo op during Sunday night’s Academy Award telecast, Twitter experienced a dramatic decrease in Oscar-related tweets.
Last year, Twitter users sent 11.2 million tweets; this year the total was 5.9 million, according to Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings, a decrease of 47%. The fall-off was probably inevitable considering how Twitter-shaking the Ellen selfie was. That single tweet — which now has a record 3.3 million RTs — alone accounted for more than 20% of the tweets about the 2014 event. During the height of the frenzy, some people were unable to post and view tweets.
The 2014 telecast also had other buzzworthy moments — remember the mid-show pizza delivery, John Travolta mangling Idina Menzel’s introduction? — that contributed to the higher Twitter activity. This year’s show was also seen by 7 million fewer people in the U.S. television market, according to preliminary Nielsen figures, drawing an audience of 36.6 million, the lowest since 2009.
So if the show was more pedestrian, it stands to reason that the public conversation won’t be as active. And the top moments, based on tweets per minute, of Sunday night bear that out. The Twitter conversation peaked at 60,000 tweets per minute when Lady Gaga was joined by Julie Andrews. Next on the engagement list are Alejandro Iñárritu accepting the Best Picture Oscar for “Birdman” and Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress.
Meanwhile, On Facebook …
Facebook reported no reduction in social activity. On the contrary, the social network said that nearly twice as many people — 21 million compared to 11.3 million in 2014 — posted, liked or commented about Oscars. The total of 58 million posts, likes or comments was more than double the 25.3 million from the previous year.
The results have to be encouraging for the company, which has been playing catch-up to Twitter as the place for public conversation about major events. As it did for the Super Bowl, Facebook set up a trending page for the Oscars, to serve as a hub for the discussion. To be clear, much of the Facebook Academy Award activity is private conversation between family and friends, but a large portion is celebrity driven, which is an obvious advantage during events like the Oscars.
See, for instance, the JLo-Meryl selfie below that Jennifer Lopez’s social media team posted Sunday night on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By Monday evening it had 262,000 likes, 3,100 comments and 3,144 shares on Facebook and 541,000 likes and 6,400 comments on Instagram. On Twitter, it had 4,800 retweets and 11,000 favorites. (There’s no easy way to count the number of replies to the Lady Gaga tweet.)
As for the Oscars show itself, Facebook reported that the Lady Gaga-Julie Andrews meeting generated the highest activity with 214K people per minute engaging globally and 154K in the United States.
Here’s a video visualization of the Facebook Oscars activity: