Twitter's Gaming Community Is Growing: Interview With Twitter Canada's Chris Doyle
Twitter has always been a hotspot of the gaming community. An online hub for enthusiasts to share opinions and news circulating the industry.
Each year, more and more users jump onto the Twitter platform to share screenshots and videos of the latest games, driving the conversation even further. In 2018, over 1 billion tweets were generated, a drastic to 2017's 218 million tweets. People from all over the world flocked to Twitter to discuss everything from the latest Fornite update to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate rumours.
Some of 2018’s most popular titles hit the top 10 list of most mentioned games in Canada last year. As expected, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Pokémon made the list. Interestingly enough, game franchises such The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, and Splatoon still made waves despite not having a major release push the conversation in the past year.
Speaking to the head of Twitter Canada’s content partnership group, Chris Doyle, he explained “The cultural conversation really sparks on Twitter. When something really breaks through to the mainstream, it’s going to be on Twitter... ” Doyle continues, “When you see a game like Fortnite, you see an explosion of conversation that breaks through on our platform and ignites into something that transcends culture.”
If you’re ingrained in the community, it is very rare you go a day without seeing a Fortnite clip, or a video from a Smash Bros. stream. Larger games have a platform of which not only cultivates a conversation with die-hard fans, but it expands to the general gaming audience as well. It’s very simple for someone to share a 15-second clip for it to be passed along and retweeted by thousands.
While it may not be surprising, but events such as E3, TGS, and Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards were some of the most talked about events in the gaming industry. However, amongst those bigger events, esports tournaments made the list as well. The Overwatch League Inaugural Season Championship, and the FACEIT Major: London were among the most popular game-centric events on Twitter.
The folks at Twitter have been well aware of the rising popularity of esports on the platform. “We’ve seen this as a trend that’s swinging upwards. Doyle explains. “We only expect that it’s going to grow in 2019. It’s basically the place to talk about the latest game titles, cheer on your favourite esports teams– it’s a passionate community.”
Regardless of favourite genre, or game title, Twitter users can easily find like-minded people to share in the joys and excitement that gaming brings. “I think it’s the immediacy and speed of Twitter that is really appealing to the community.” Doyle continues, “I think that it is a perfect compliment to the games that they play. I also think that they can connect quickly to their audience on Twitter. I think that’s something that really resonates with them. We’ve done a lot of work with some of the bigger events and that’s we see. We almost describe it as almost like a lightning bolt. There's just this energy on Twitter that I don’t think exists on any other platform.”
Twitter can be a hotspot for positive discussions and communication between people with common interests. Maintaining a space where users can feel comfortable no matter their experience and preferences can be tough, but Twitter is devoted to being a platform where everyone can be comfortable. “What we’ve found is that there is a hardcore audience that comes to Twitter to join the conversation, it’s also appealing to new fans, esports in particular,” Doyle tells me. “We’re really focused on accessing new audiences in addition to complimenting the hardcore audience.”
So if you’ve just put in your 200th hour into Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, or dropping into your first online match, there is a huge community to talk to about your experiences. Breaking down barriers and giving gamers a chance to discuss their favourite titles is important to the growth of the industry.
Building a positive community without gatekeeping means that community building and conversations will continue to grow in 2019. As gaming mentions on Twitter have now crossed the billion mark, it will only continue to grow in 2019 and beyond.
A big thank you to Chris Doyle from Twitter Canada for taking the time to talk to me.