Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Twitter on Transfer Deadline Day - breaking the news from players and clubs

Yesterday was the last day in 2013 that football clubs could make transfers and, as the football transfer window closed, Twitter was alight with news, rumour and related discussion.  Twitter is often referred to as a 'back channel', a place where events and content are amplified, however as the football transfer window closed it seemed Twitter was actually the 'front channel' informing news coverage and fans as events unfolded.

As the football transfer window was about to close almost all of the Twitter Worldwide trending topics were football related:
Worldwide Twitter trending topics on football transfer deadline day

Twitter trending topics on football transfer deadline day
Twitter trending topics on football transfer deadline day

The football related trending topics were resulting from discussion around confirmed events, but were also spurred by the tweets of footballers announcing their news, discussing transfers or congratulating each other and thanking fans.

Romelu Lukaku announced his move from Chelsea to Everton on Twitter (retweeted over 14000 times) and then used Twitter to say thank you to friends (mainly footballers) who had wished him luck:

Lukaku tweets his move from Chelsea to Everton on transfer deadline day

Meanwhile on the other side of the town Victor Moses announced his loan move from Chelsea to Liverpool on Twitter and attached a photo too, again prompting much retweeting and favouriting:

Victor Moses tweets his move from Chelsea to Liverpool on transfer deadline day

Journalists, agents and news organisations broke news on Twitter during the last hours of the window and prominent football player tweeters like Jack Wilshere used Twitter to post their thoughts:

Jack Wilshere Twitter transfer deadline day
Jack Wilshere uses Twitter to welcome Mesut Ozil to Arsenal

West Ham United transfer news was even being announced through a Twitter account that appears to belong to Jack Sullivan, son of the chairman (account is unverified):

Jack Sullivan Twitter transfer deadline day
Jack Sullivan tweeting West Ham United news on Transfer Deadline Day

During the transfer window deadline hours Twitter seemed to be a content channel in itself with players and other informed parties breaking news on the platform which was then picked up by news organisations.  An interesting development and perhaps signs of where things are going - breaking news on Twitter, analysis on more traditional channels?

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