Monday, May 7, 2012

What Twitter Means for Film Celebrities in India

Everyone worldwide obviously cares about social media and it is no wonder that in India as well, the transition has happened from mere curiosity, experimentation to active usage. India is one of the top 10 Tweeting countries (based on number of tweets coming from the country). India is also one of the top three countries in terms of user base on Facebook. When such is the case, it is no wonder that celebrities, including actors, singers, sports people and politicians have made their presence felt on these platforms.

Twitter, of all the platforms, seems to be more popular among the celebrities. It could be because of reasons like: a) posting updates is easy from smart phones even while being on move, b) quick and easy connect and c) broadcasting can happen to a large number of people. And of course, not to forget, it’s free and it’s has become a style statement :-)

I looked at Twitter accounts of three Bollywood personalities. Each one of them has a certain tweeting style.

Amitabh Bachhcan (@SrBachchan): As in May 2012, Amitabh completed two years on Twitter and must appreciate the regularity with which he posts updates.  The tweets range from updates about IPL matches, festivals, promotion of new shows, film rehearsals and personal opinions. Until recently, there was lesser interaction with fans and mostly the activity was restricted to posting tweets. But now, Amitabh has become even more active on Twitter and tries to respond to @mentions. I liked the way he has written his bio as “Actor ... well at least some are STILL saying so !!and has given a cross-link to his blog from the Twitter handle.

What I liked: He has introduced a unique style of numbering the tweets. The last I saw, it was somewhere around 750. The tweets don’t revolve only around films or promotion. In fact, such tweets are very rare. There is a nice variety in the tweets which make them interesting. And of course, very personalized responses to the @mentions - sometimes in Hinglish which make them even more appealing :)

Priety Zinta (@realpreityzinta): In October 2009, Priety’s Twitter presence was triggered because apparently a fake account was created in her name and she wanted to get rid of that. I think that has influenced the word ‘real’ in her Twitter handle. Her Twitter bio has link to Kings XI Punjab website which is the IPL owned by her. She has maintained nice tone and language in her tweets. Words like ‘Ting’ match the real her :) Her Twitter timeline is full of responses. This shows the active connection she maintains with fans and responds to almost all @mentions. She even took help of her Twitter fans for coming up with a name for her chat show on UTV Stars.

What I liked: The tone of tweets that matches her personality. She has started a cool thing of Sunday chat with handle #pzsundaychat wherein she picks a topic from suggestions given by her fans and chats with the fans on Twitter.

Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra): Although referred as one of the celebrities with large number of followers, I would say this is fairly ‘typical’ twitter account – bio, website link, tweets - everything I found very standard. Active account but no novelty. Tweets are about travel schedules, upcoming movies, endorsements and responses to @mentions. Yes, there are some RTs too but mostly for the tweets by other celebrities.

What I liked: Well, nothing much.

In general, although in terms of follower counts, the celebrity accounts are flaring, I was disappointed to see lack of innovation and creativity in way the accounts are managed.