Here’s today’s weekly email from Car Magazine (probably the most respected of the ‘serious’ monthly automotive titles in the UK).
You can’t miss the Facebook and Twitter logos; hell, they’re bigger than the editor!
The promotion of a Twitter channel in this way is a significant step, and one that is probably ready to be called a twend (ha!). The ‘kerb appeal’ of Facebook is much more obvious than Twitter whose brilliance only becomes apparent through use. So it might be that 2009 will be the ‘twyear’ (geddit), as those driven to twial Twitter (sorry, I’ll stop now) by Obama, motoring videos and whatever other bait politicians and publishers are dangling at the time, become regular users and advocates.
How many UK Twitter users are there? Well it seems there are approx. 4 million globally, and that 10% of these are UK based. So about 400,000 compared to 12 million Facebookers in the UK. A minnow a present, but undoubedly already a dream audience if you’re interested in early adopters and influencers.
Car has been one of the most adventurous titles in the UK in its attempts to reinvent content distribution and business models for the digital news age.
A couple of years ago they took the step of turning the print publication into a long article only, comment, analysis and ‘home of good writing’ in a distinctive size format: meanwhile the news, data tables and other types of content that is rendered out-of-date too quickly now by the print lead-times of a monthly, was migrated online.
It was a brave step that I really admired at the time (though there was a bit too much advertorial in the magazine itself), but which, presumably, didn’t work that well, as the approach now seems to be a hybrid strategy, where some content is online only (video, obviously!), and some print only, with a certain amount in common to the two main channels.