Twitter and Viacom announce social video marketing pact

The new deal, which will start with tweeted highlights during the MTV Video Music Awards, is the latest in Twitter's ongoing march to bolster its advertising muscle.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read

Twitter has signed a deal to begin delivering social video ads built around Viacom's most popular TV shows.

In the announcement, put out by Viacom, the two companies said that the campaigns would center around shows aired on networks like MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Spike and more. The first ads will appear during the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. During that show, MTV will tweet a series of the most notable moments, as well as backstage access, interviews, and more, all with integrated advertising.

Bloomberg first reported in April that a deal between Twitter and Viacom was in the works.

Twitter's pact with Viacom is just the latest in a string of deals the social networking giant has made to bolster its advertising scope. In recent weeks, it has agreed to work with ESPN, the NCAA, the NBA, and others, with each arrangement geared to bring richer advertising content to Twitter users in a bid both to give marketers new ways to get their message out, and to bring Twitter substantial new ad revenue in advance of what many observers expect is an initial public offering sometime in the next year or so.

While Twitter's user base has continued to grow -- it now boasts more than 200 million registered users -- most of its moves in the last year have been geared towards solidifying its advertising platform. It has worked hard to unify users' Twitter experience regardless of platform, all in a bid to ensure that advertising works across mobile, Web, or apps.

A big part of that strategy is clearly to partner with a wide range of TV networks, and others -- like sports leagues -- that provide compelling TV content. Twitter believes that its platform offers marketers -- and users -- an amplification element unique to social media. As such, the Viacom deal is being lumped under what Twitter is calling TwitterAmplify. At the Cannes Film Festival in France yesterday, the Deb Roy, company's chief media scientist, unveiled a video demonstrating the power of that social amplification.