Twitter connects to PH with #BuhayTwitter

Stacy De Jesus

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Twitter connects to PH with #BuhayTwitter
'You love Twitter and we’re here to tell you that we love you back,' Twitter Asia Pacific and Middle East vice president Rishi Jaitly tells the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – With a series of trending events in 2015 and the upcoming 2016 elections, Twitter has trained its sights on the Philippines.

“You love Twitter and we’re here to tell you that we love you back,” Twitter Asia Pacific and Middle East vice president Rishi Jaitly said during the launch of #TwitterCity at the Mind Museum on Thursday, February 18. 

Twitter presented new ways for the Philippine media and digital marketers to interact with and reach new audiences. 

Videos were one of the most highlighted features, with 92% of the Twitter population watching video on the micro-blogging platform.

Twitter Video, Periscope, and Vine, to name a few, contributed to the platform’s video views, causing them to grow up to 150 times more in just 12 months. In 2015, people viewed 81 billion television-related tweets. 

The Philippines impressed Twitter with its social activity. 

For instance, in just one event, supporters of the viral tandem AlDub, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, churned out over 41 million global tweets during the AlDub charity concert #AlDubEBTamangPanahon

The “global phenomenon” AlDub is only one of many reasons the Philippines caught attention internationally through Twitter.

According to Twitter vice president for Online Global Sales Richard Alfonsi, over 2.7 billion tweets came from #MayPac – Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match; over 6.7 million global tweets about #MissUniverse2015 – Pia Wurtzbach’s controversial win; and over 3.3 million domestic tweets for Pope Francis’ visit to the country in 2015. 

Culture and media on Twitter

About 69% of Twitter users from the Philippines use the platform every day. 

In a panel where Twitter’s role in Filipino culture and media consumption habits was discussed, Jaitly sat down with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez. 

When asked about the tipping point of Twitter in the Philippines, Jimenez referred to the #NoBioNoBoto campaign by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

From over 9 million unregistered voters or voters without biometrics data in 2014, the campaign was able to trim down the number to 2.5 million, he added. 

Meanwhile, Ressa cited the #MillionPeopleMarch, the first social media-organized protest at the height of the biggest corruption scandal in the country. A growing collective anger seemed to have pressured President Benigno Aquino III to announce an overhaul of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) days before the protest itself. The President earlier maintained he wanted to keep the PDAF. A few months later, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the legislators’ controversial pork barrel fund known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). 

82% of world leaders are on Twitter, according to Jailty. 

Rappler’s Agos, a collaborative platform that combines top-down government action with bottom up civic engagement to help communities mitigate risks and deal with climate change and natural hazards, also uses Twitter updates to ensure the flow of critical and actionable information to those who need it before, during, and after disasters and connects those who need help directly with those who can truly help. 

When asked about what advice they would give to those who want to maximize their Twitter presence, Jimenez recommended infusing your Twitter account with personality. “It [your personal tweets] may have some people scratching their heads, but ultimately you benefit from it [the attention],” he said. 

“Don’t just push out things that are unthoughtful,” added Ressa. 

Twitter turns 10 in March 2016. How long have you been using the platform? Are you becoming a more active user? –

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