"60 Minutes" in 140 characters: Twitter and CBS partner for promoted tweets

CBS isn’t exactly known for being on the cutting edge of technology, but a new partnership with Twitter could put the network—and its lineup of comedy and sports—at the forefront of social media.

Twitter’s Glenn Brown announced the partnership during a panel at New York’s Advertising Week on Monday. CBS will use Twitter Amplify, the social network’s advertising program, to promote its content. Amplify works by pushing Promoted Tweets from media partners and advertisers to Twitter users who are tweeting about related content. If you’re tweeting about “60 Minutes,” CBS and Twitter might push you a tweet with a bonus video from the show.

The flip side of that coin is, of course, ads. If you’re tweeting about the season premiere of “How I Met Your Mother,” one of the show’s advertisers could push a Promoted Tweet your way, so you get a double dose of ads—though, you’re probably not watching that brand’s commercial if you’re refreshing your Twitter stream.

CBS didn’t mention any specific advertisers during the announcement, but said brands were interested in getting involved in the network’s social media efforts.

The calm before the storm

Over the last year, Twitter has ramped up its efforts to turn tweets into cash. Now that the company has finally filed for its initial public offering, expectations for Twitter to turn a profit are at an all-time high.

CBS
Who doesn't want more of "How I Met Your Mother" content?

Programs like Amplify and high-profile partnerships with media partners like CBS are proof that Twitter is betting on the second-screen effect to deliver big returns. The challenge the micro-blogging service faces is how to deliver those ads without alienating its 200 million users.

Twitter’s ad efforts are good news for big brands. Before Twitter, it was impossible to gauge which parts of shows or television events spurred conversation among viewers, but Twitter now provides ample analytics that networks can use to target ads.

Amplify partner Viacom used Twitter to promote the recent MTV Video Music Awards, and Twitter turned up numbers like these: There were 306,100 tweets per minute during the Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke freak show, which far surpassed the rest of the night’s performances. Nearly 18.5 million VMA-related tweets were sent during the show. Those are metrics advertisers want to know and use to sell you stuff.

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