As we noted a few weeks ago, Twitter introduced charts for its #Music product. The company’s intentions for the service aren’t known, and it seems like they’re taking somewhat of a public beta approach with it. Having said that, before the service launched, I noted that it could be the next “Top 40″ phenomenon.
To compile meaningful charts, a huge chunk of data is needed to make them meaningful. It goes without saying that Twitter has more data than it knows what to do with, and #Music is a public showcase of what it’s capable of doing. I don’t think of Twitter as a “media” company, but rather a meaningful social data company. If you think about the impact that charts make on every vertical that has data to create one, it’s a huge business opportunity for Twitter.
Charts drive usage, conversation, publication mentions, sales and, most importantly, trends. Yes, Twitter has had a trending topics section of the website for as long as I can remember, but the results aren’t focused and don’t give the proper context to make the phrases that appear actionable…or all that interesting. Take a look:
Without context or proper relevance, trending topics are nothing more than a snapshot for people who spend fewer than 10 minutes on Twitter a day. The brand-new layout for #Music is a sign of what’s to come for all trending information on the platform.
Not only is this a more attractive design, but it gives you all of the context you need to engage with the content. If you apply this approach to video games, movies, television shows or anything else you can think of, then Twitter’s massive pool of data finally starts to make sense for users. Not only does it make sense, but it’s the formation of a solid platform for advertising. While buying your way to the top of a chart probably won’t happen, snapping ads to portions of pages like this will convert better than banner ads.
You can imagine a world where Twitter could serve up charts on apps, video games, publications, TV shows, movies, sports teams, or anything that’s currently tweeted about, but unstructured on the site. The advertising opportunities for brands will be there, the usability improvements for users will be there and the marriage of the two will make for a better public offering come 2014.
#Music is just the logical testing ground.
Unnecessary Disclosure: I'll be moving on to Yahoo! soon]