Insights from Twitter India's Chennai summit #VanakkamTwitter: Mersal, Baahubali 2, Kaala among trending topics
Taranjeet Singh, Country Director, Twitter India, said 50% of tweets on Indian entertainment industry in the year 2017 were from Tamil and Telugu film industries.
In its first summit in Chennai, titled #VanakkamTwitter, Twitter India shared some interesting insights on the conversations happening around southern cinema and highlighted the films and actors who drive significant engagement and enjoy massive traction on the platform.
Taranjeet Singh, Country Director, Twitter India, said 50% of tweets on Indian entertainment industry in the year 2017 were from Tamil and Telugu film industries. "Nearly 40 million tweets were generated about Indian film industry last year. In each month, nearly 1 billion tweets are generated on Twitter about the global entertainment industry," he said.
AR Murugadoss and Vijay's most-anticipated Sarkar was one of the happening moments in India when the first look poster was announced on the eve of the actor's birthday on 21 June. Keya Madhvani Singh, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India, said, "When Sun Pictures announced the first look of Vijay's Sarkar, we immediately created a moment. This moment, within a few short hours of its launch, ended up being one of the top moments regarding how far it has travelled in Twitter India. It's a huge success. Vijay's Mersal was the most trending hashtag of 2017." She also revealed that #Virushka wedding announcement by Virat Kohli was the most retweeted tweet of 2017.
Another interesting data shared by the team is that 46% of users log in to the platform to consume film news and 68% of them make decisions about whether to go to a movie or not by gathering reviews from people they follow.
#Thalapathy, #Thala, #Vijay, #Ajith, #Viswasam were part of the top 10 hashtags. In fact, #Mersal, which released in October 2017, still continues to be in top 10 hashtags of 2018. SS Rajamouli's Baahubali: The Conclusion and Mersal were declared the most happening film topics of 2017. Rajinikanth's Kaala was also praised for utilising Twitter effectively by live-streaming the audio launch and announcing trailer and other events through the platform. The pre-release event of Mahesh Babu's Bharat Ane Nenu was also highlighted as one of the most talked about topics.
From the data gathered from January to May 2018 about Tamil film actors on Twitter India, Kamal Haasan is ranked as the most talked about male celebrity in Kollywood, followed by Rajinikanth, Suriya, Prakash Raj and Anirudh Ravichander. While Samantha Akkineni was declared the most talked about female actor on the platform for the same period, Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet, Keerthy Suresh and Tamannaah Bhatia occupied the next four slots.
In an exclusive Q & A session, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder and actor Kamal Haasan participated in a conversation with anchor and actor Dhivyadharshini about his creative use of Twitter. "'With freedom comes responsibility,' as Gandhi said. Responsibility comes a little before freedom. So we have to be careful about how we enjoy and execute our liberty," Haasan said.
When asked about the use of abusive language and faceless trolls, Haasan explained, "Until a particular age, I never took any advice at all. So I don't know if I am qualified or would even like to give advice. In my childhood, the world, friends, women, sex, books; everything was a surprising discovery for me. The more something is prohibited, the more it gives you delight. That's the human trait. If there's a signboard restricting us to do something, we crave to do it. When I came across the swear words in Tamil during my early years, I was tempted to use it somewhere but didn't know where to use it. So I would make songs from those words and would sing. When my father saw it, he explained how most of these words are not meant to shame a person, but his mother, father, and family and some are mere body parts — nothing but anatomy for a biology student. So those who use profanity on the social media platforms would feel the blow when his son or daughter asks him the meaning of the words he used on someone."
On joining Twitter and becoming extremely active on the platform to voice his thoughts, Haasan said, "When the majority of the population does something, I will not have the instant urge to follow suit. However, I will not turn a deaf ear towards it. When everyone else in home watches cricket, I would be engrossed in a book. Of course, I have played cricket, but somehow I lost the interest in it soon. I became a political Twitterati when I was utterly outraged by what the people were forced to undergo. Some people will be satisfied after writing an editorial letter; they believe things will change just by writing a letter. But I am not that kind. Twitter is not entertainment for me; I use it as a bulletin board."
He further added: "Even before Twitter, we were all reachable; still, tweet makes it easier. Because congregation, community, getting together is what makes the world. And Twitter makes the world move faster."
Kamal Haasan also answered a few questions posted on Twitter under the hashtag #AskKamalHaasan. To a question that read if Kamal Haasan ever regretted his decision to quit the legacy he created over the fifty plus years in cinema and moving to politics, he replied with a point-blank 'NO.'
Haasan also said how Twitter can be used efficiently for science and politics to exchange thoughts. "It is a fantastic medium, and it was not available for Einstein or Edison or Gandhi. Now that we have it, we can either go miles and miles or wallow in it like a video game and get nowhere. Use it to propel forward."
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