XboxOne explodes across Twitter

Microsoft yesterday launched the Xbox One: a console the firm promises will provide all-in-one entertainment for users.

Accompanying the launch, the #xboxone hashtag was trending for long periods, which helped it to attract the attention of non-gamers too.

In this analysis we’ve taken a quick look at where in the US most people were discussing the launch.

California dominated, generating more than a fifth of mentions, despite only accounting for 12% of the population.

New York also exceeded its share of the US population (approximately 7%), with a 13% share of discussion.

In contrast, although Texas and Florida generated the fourth and fifth largest volume of discussion respectively, it was on a par with their share of the population.

Perhaps not surprisingly, males dominated the conversation, accounting for 86% of all mentions of the #XboxOne hashtag.

Twerking video is expert marketing ploy

On 3 September, Caitlin Heller posted a YouTube clip in which she accidentally set herself on fire while ‘twerking’. Apparently, without any promotion, the video went viral and acquired more than 9M views in a week, which then led it to be picked up by various news channels worldwide as an internet phenomenon in the wake of Miley Cyrus’s antics at the MTV Video Music Awards.

 While news outlets appeared to take the video at face value, social media users were much more critical of what they saw, with many commenting the video was staged on sites like Buzzfeed, and even creating full blog posts with detailed arguments supporting the view that it was fake. Being somewhat of an internet phenomenon itself, that discussion then also warranted coverage on mainstream channels.

 The video was subsequently revealed to have indeed been a stunt performed for the Jimmy Kimmel Show, which prompted criticism of mainstream news outlets for their lack of journalistic investigation, despite social media users’ critical stance. Youtube’s Kevin Allocca said: “There’s so much conversation about the veracity of the video that that actually feeds its popularity because it gives us something to talk about.”

Revealing the truth behind the staged video increased its success: while the original now has 11M views, the reveal video already has 13M, and its ultimate goal – marketing Jimmy Kimmel – has been expertly achieved with minimal effort. It attained enormous reach by exploiting the pre-existing culture of questioning authenticity and by allowing the interaction between social media and news outlets to fuel interest. As Buzzfeed top commenter George Bernard Luke Catallo put it: “Way to fool a third of the internet, give the third of the internet that is the fake police something to do, and entertain the hell out of the third who didn’t care either way.”