Universal sets screenwriters loose on Twitter – helped Ted to gross near $200 million

The teddy bear’s first tweet, from an account called @WhatTedSaid set up by the Universal Pictures marketing department, was “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go f— yourself.”

The author of the greeting was Alec Sulkin, co-screenwriter of the R-rated comedy “Ted,” who together with his collaborator Wellesley Wild was paid extra by the studio to build buzz on social media ahead of the film’s June 29 release. Who better to embody the random musings of a foul-mouthed stuffed animal than the writers of the script? The suits left them alone.

“The parameters were, ‘Just go to town,’ ” says Doug Neil, Universal’s senior vice president of digital marketing. The tweeting started March 30, two days before the “red band” (uncensored) trailer appeared online, depicting the namesake bear smoking weed, cuddling with co-star Mark Wahlberg and pantomiming suggestive acts for a supermarket checkout girl.

It worked spectacularly. Tracking polls, which movie executives rely on to guide box office expectations, suggested an opening-weekend gross of $35 million to $40 million for the film, which was co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” who also provided the voice for Ted. Instead, “Ted” generated $54 million, catching the industry by surprise.

 

More on this: The Wall Street Journal – Twitter Goes to the Movies

 

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Twitter will soon release a way to retrieve your old tweets

Trying to remember that pithy, brilliantly composed tweet about the latest Wes Anderson movie that you fired off a few months ago? You’re out of luck: Twitter gives users access only to the last few thousand posts made to the site.

But Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, promises that this will eventually change.

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Mr. Costolo said in a meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times on Monday. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Other social media services, most notably Facebook, already allow users to download a file with all their data. Twitter has been slower to roll out a similar service, although a number of third-party services and developers have cobbled together ways to let people sift through portions of Twitter’s vast collection of messages. One recently released site, called oldtweets, lets people root through some of the first messages ever sent through Twitter’s servers.

 

Source: N.Y. Times – Twitter Is Working on a Way to Retrieve Your Old Tweets

 

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Foursquare launches promoted updates – now all social networks have ads in your news feed

It’s official, all the social networking sites have started adding “promoted” tweets/posts/places to your news feed. It’s no surprise considering that Twitter, with its “promoted tweets,” recently said it has a “truckload of money in the bank”.

 

Today Foursquare is launching its version of search ads, Promoted Updates.

Promoted Updates operate like Google’s promoted listings or Twitter’s promoted tweets. They are pay-per-action ad placements that only appear when a user is searching for a venue in Foursquare’s Explore tab.

Foursquare determines a user’s current location and check-in history before displaying a Promoted Update. The ads are powered by the same recommendation engine as its Explore feature. All of the paid placements will be clearly labeled at the top of the feed; they can include a store’s recent news, photos or specials.

Foursquare has partnered with about 20 merchants, from small mom and pop shops to national chains like Best Buy, to launch the pilot program. In the next few months, Foursquare hopes to turn Promoted Updates into a self-service tool merchants of all sizes can use on its platform.

 

Keep reading: Business Insider – Foursquare Launches Promoted Updates, Its Newest Effort To Generate Revenue

 

 

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New Yorker to release famous author’s short story as serialized tweets

I do like the idea of serialized stories, similar to Charles Dickens in the 19th century.

Starting Thursday night, the New Yorker’s Twitter fiction handle, @NYerFiction, will post a new tweet of text from Jennifer Egan’s 8,500 word story, “Black Box”, every minute between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The tweets will continue for 10 straight nights. Readers can find a summary of the text posted on the magazine’s Web site at 9 p.m. each evening.

The article, built around a character in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” will appear in the magazine’s first science fiction issue, which comes out on May 29th.

The story is a running scroll of a spy keeping a log of her current mission. Ms. Egan said that when she was writing, she struggled not to make the language sound “gimmicky” or “cartoonish.”

“I’m just interested in serialization in fiction,” said Ms. Egan. “I’m fascinated by it. I love the 19th-century novels. I’m interested in ways to bring that back to fiction.”

via Media Decoder

 

Follow the story at – @NYerFiction – which currently has 2,375 followers.