If you thought celebrities were just like us, tweeting and Instagramming every facet of our lives, think again. Yes, they may seem overly active on Twitter especially on a night like the Academy Awards ceremony, but it’s all part of an elaborate plan to get viewers following on a second screen: Their smartphone.
On a blog post last Friday, Twitter announced that it was working with a bunch of celebrities to get them to post tweets that provided “insider access” to the event. Although the social media service did not line up any of this year’s nominees to add their thoughts on what’s happening at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles in real time, they did manage to snag host Seth McFarlane (@SethMcFarlane) and producer Neil Meron (@NeilMeron) to offer behind-the-scenes photos, as well as additional information via the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ account (@TheAcademy).
Other contributors you may have noticed last night included Helen Hunt, Kristen Chenoweth, Nina Garcia (“Project Runway”), Louise Roe (“Fashion Star”), Vanity Fair editor Krista Smith, Katie Couric, Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”), Katie Lowes (“Scandal”), Style Network’s Mary Alice Haney, comedian Matt Roller, and Erik Griffin (“Workaholics”). Oh, and another couple of guys you might have heard of: Writer, producer, and actor Carl Reiner and the incomparable television and stage legend that is Mr. Dick Van Dyke himself. So if you thought these celebrities were tweeting constantly just for their own peace of mind and your entertainment, sorry – the whole ordeal was all quite premeditated. As for Ben Affleck’s Instagram photo after his big win, however, you can be glad to know that’s all genuine.
According to the blog post, Twitter had hoped to drive the service into “a global viewing party” – something that already seems to happen during most nationally televised event (think Super Bowl or the Elections, for example). Of course, not many parties feature mandatory hashtags (#Oscars for last night’s show, obviously), but that’s just one of the changing rules in this modern world in which we’re living.