Jim Edwards / BITwitter CEO Dick Costolo and his team are launching a new video content promotion tool called Twitter Amplify.
The new product allows media companies to push small video clips on Twitter — such as sports highlights or tornado footage — out to followers, accompanied by a brief video ad as a pre-roll or post-roll.
Ford has already been doing work with ESPN's college sports properties on Twitter, with a Ford ad lasting just a few seconds rolling in front of spectacular dunk footage from college basketball games. You can see an example from the NBA here.
Costolo described a dramatic example of the combined power of TV and Twitter: He described how, during NASCAR races, viewership declines when there is a fire on the track because the race is paused under "yellow flag" conditions.
But in one race in February last year, driver Brad Keselowski tweeted a picture of a fire on the track from inside his car, Costolo said. It's been retweeted 5,200 times so far.
"Why he had his phone in the car during the race is a whole other story," Costolo said, but "the ratings for the show started — people started to tune in."
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