Twitter executive on AlDub: "The story of AlDub is the story of Twitter in the Philippines."

by Mari-An Santos
Feb 24, 2016

The tremendous popularity of AlDub has prompted Twitter executives to pay particular attention on the Philippines.

Since the creation of the AlDub love team in July 2015, there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of AlDub Twitter posts generated by fans of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza.

Although Twitter has no plans yet of opening an office in the country, executives say that they have already started partnering with TV producers, particularly Eat Bulaga.

“We already worked closely with them,” said Rishi Jaitly, VP, Media, Asia Pacific and Middle East of Twitter.

“Last year, we took note of their strength on the platform and the way they were using Twitter to tell the stories.

“Since then, what you’ve seen in the last six months is a steady escalation of our work with that television property in the form of giving them access to additional ideas, access to additional software, the ability to reply to all users tweeting Valentine’s messages, access to new hardware and tools that Twitter has, and more. Most important about that example is that it’s a metaphor how we encourage all creators in the Philippines to use Twitter, and really, around the world.

“What I’m most looking forward to in terms of creators in the Philippines: call us, tweet us, if you are eager to embrace Twitter the way AlDub has because it’s a great example of how we can awaken and bring your audience to life.”

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Jaitly made these statements during Twitter City at the Mind Museum in BGC on February 18, the first time they brought the event—originally launched in January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas—outside of the USA.

(Read: PEP EXCLUSIVE: Twitter executive says no slowdown in Aldub tweets)

During the presentation, Jaitly pointed out that in 2015, there were three most notable events that made a huge impact on Twitterverse in the Philippines:

1) The Manny Pacquiao-Mayweather match generated 2.7 billion+ tweets

2) The Pope’s visit to the Philippines generated 3.3 million+ tweets

3) Philippine representative Pia Wurtzbach’s win as Miss Universe generated 6.7 million+ tweets

But according to Richard Alfonsi, VP, Global Online Sales of Twitter, the 2015 Golden Tweet for the Philippines distinction belongs to AlDub.

“There were 41 million + global tweets for the AlDub charity concert #AlDubEBTamangPanahon. Compare that to 27 million tweets for the one of the biggest sports event in the US: the Super Bowl.”

Yaya Dub’s tweet was re-tweeted 76,500 [times] and viewed nearly 2.4 million times.

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The AlDub phenomenon has made the Philippines one of the most important markets for Twitter, says Alfonsi.

According to Jaitly, “The story of AlDub is the story of Twitter in the Philippines and we’re delighted to partner with them even more.”

He then cited an instance wherein Twitter partnered with Eat Bulaga for the Valentine episode:

“What you see now is, those of you who were watching this weekend, there was a big Valentine edition, where you could tweet to the show, to the talent involved, to Alden and Maine, and receive personalized Valentine’s day messages. This Valentine’s weekend alone, there were 4.1 million tweets against the hashtag. The thing with these numbers is you get used to them in the Philippines. These are extraordinary numbers for a conversation on Twitter about culture and about one piece of content. Extraordinary!

“I was just in the Middle East, in Dubai, and was telling the story of Twitter in the Philippines and people said: ‘We need to do that!’

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“What is interesting about the AlDub phenomenon is that Twitter was essential to the experience. If you talk to the producers, the broadcaster, the talent, you discover that the producers from the beginning and to this day, were responding to the conversation on Twitter. They were detecting in tweets this dynamic between the two hosts on the show and decided to respond and work that into the plot. Even today, they do the same. It is a powerful example of what it means to listen to and to co-create with an audience who using the mobile microphone that is Twitter. It is no surprise that the platform has broken all records worldwide for the amount of conversation we’ve built on television, and created big value for the show and for many others.”

Jaitly showed a short clip of one of AlDub’s splitscreen moments between Maine and Alden, then explained: “If I were to show a graph of tweet volumes while this moment came on air, what you would see is a spike in the conversation. My team talked to television producers around the world who say: We used to wonder, is there a way, while the show is on, that you could listen to the audience and see what they like and what they don’t like? And then came Twitter, giving real people the opportunity to understand that that moment at 12:10 pm was more significant than the moment at 11:50 pm, eventhough we had been planning on the moment at 11:50 to be able to fuel public conversation.”

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According to the Nielsen Twitter Consumer Survey (January 2016), in the Philippines: 69% of Twitter users engage every day while 71% of millennials read/send tweets while watching TV.

Jaitly says this proves that Twitter serves as “the second screen for television, Twitter is a companion to any mass media experience. They’re watching television with the star, with the channel, and with the producers, writers.

“Looking ahead to this year, more partnerships with the media landscape. We are responding to the energy we’ve seen in this market.”

“Twitter has a live connection to culture,” Alfonsi says. “The Philippines has been an amazing success story for the Twitter in 2015. Twitter helps Filipinos of all ages, communities, and backgrounds connect to one another every day, but it also connects the rest of the world to the country’s vibrant culture.”

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