Twitter partnered with The Weather Channel to offer a live stream of the natural phenomena of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017, as they do with sports events like NFL games or Wimbledon, seeking to stay relevant as a social network and new media juggernaut.
First accounts of the stream and social conversation revealed that Twitter reached 8.1 million mentions during the day of the Eclipse (August 21), and a total of 10.9 million mentions in the seven days prior to the phenomena. That number competes with Buzzfeed’s U.S. Election Night coverage (6.8 million) last year, which was also streamed exclusively through Twitter.
But the king of the hill was, once more, Facebook, whose NASA live stream video was number one in the platform with 29 million views. Also, the Eclipse provoked 129,000 broadcasts, which were viewed – both live and non-live – more than 365,000 times, according to social media analytics firm Talkwalker.
With coast-to-coast coverage and live footage from drones of The Weather Channel and its storm trackers, all in full HD, Twitter’s live streaming was proof of the platform’s bet on live streaming to remain relevant, as it continues to struggle with growth among their user base.
The success of the Eclipse live streaming is still to be measured, as Twitter has not released the actual numbers. Nonetheless, the opportunity made a way for Twitter to attract live news consumers to its platform and compete with Facebook in that niche.