At Oscars, Samsung gets the bill but Twitter gets the glory


The entrance to the Seoul office building of Samsung Electronics, Seoul, South Korea, 04 October 2013. EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres may have wielded a Samsung phone to take on-stage selfies all night, but Twitter was the big tech winner out of Sunday night's show.

The big moment, of course, was when DeGeneres gathered an all-star cast for the selfie heard round-the-world, which shattered the retweet record previously held by President Obama by racking up over a million shares and counting.

But Twitter also got a prominent mention in the pre-show from late-night talk host Jimmy Kimmel, who scolded Twitter users for their mean-spirited comments, and Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett even used the word "hashtag" in her speech.

The social media site reported that its users sent 14.7 million tweets during the 3.5 hour show. That's fewer than the Super Bowl (24.7 million), but a back-of-the-envelope calculation puts tweets per minute at around 70,000 -- more than all but one of the most-heavily trafficked moments of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

That's a lot of great, possibly free, attention for the social network, which is working hard to boost its growth and user engagement after a disappointing first earnings report as a public company. Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment on whether it had paid for any promotion in the show.

Samsung, meanwhile, did invest a lot in touting itself during the broadcast. The company promoted its entire line of products, from its curved televisions to its smartwatches, in commercial breaks throughout the night and shoehorned its products into the show itself.

The Korean smartphone giant supplied DeGeneres with a giant smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3, as part of a larger campaign to win hearts and minds in its smartphone war against Apple.

But it's a long road, even when you pay people to use your phones. Observant folks, including 9to5Mac's Marc Gurman, were quick to uncover that while DeGeneres was sending tweets from her Galaxy phone, she (or her assistants) were using Twitter for iPhone to send pictures from backstage.

 

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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