Twitter Targets Gamers by Appointing its First Head of Gaming

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Twitter wants to attract more gamers to its platform by expanding the gaming-related media content on its network. The company’s strategy came to light after it officially announced that it had hired a former YouTube gaming exec as its new head of gaming.

The former director of gaming content at YouTube, Rodrigo Velleso, has been charged with the task, reports Variety. Velleso’s new job at Twitter will see him court a wide gamut of gamers and gaming outlets, including developers, event organizers for conferences such as E3 and PAX, Twitch streamers, and eSport competitors.

Velleso, who came on board in September, has already helped Twitter cover the Game Awards earlier this month. As part of the partnership, tweets from the Game Awards account included video clips from the ceremony. The Twitter Mirror tool was also utilized to display selfies and GIFs from the event in real-time.

Rodrigo Velleso, via LinkedIn

In Velleso’s own words, he is seeking to “work with content creators [to] give them the tools, or in some cases build them the tools, to allow them to produce the best content [for Twitter].”

Aside from the aforementioned coverage, Twitter has remained relatively quiet on the gaming front. Meanwhile, Google has pushed ahead with streaming on YouTube, no doubt fuelled by Twitch’s success. The latter, which was acquired by Amazon for a cool $970 million last year, has gone from strength to strength as the leading social game-streaming platform. Notably, both services live-streamed the Game Awards this year, resulting in over 1.9 million views for the event over the course of just three hours, according to tubefilter. With analysts predicting that the gaming industry is set to make $92 billion in 2015, it is no wonder that Twitter wants a slice of that pie.

Despite introducing a gaming category to its video-looping service Vine recently, Twitter has thus far ignored any game-streaming functionality for its own platform. Whether Velleso’s indication that he will “build” Twitter tools for gaming content creators indicates something along those lines is open to interpretation. Along with Periscope, though, Twitter certainly has plenty of live-streaming and multimedia tools in its arsenal. Attracting social media-savvy gamers to its platform could therefore be the first step in a larger gaming-oriented strategy.


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