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Twitter won a technical Emmy, and it’s receiving the award Thursday at CES. It was chosen for “Innovation in improving engagement around television in social media.” A bit more of a mouthful than “Best Actor.”
The Engineering Emmys are exactly what they sound like — an awards show for the non-red carpet strutting members impacting the television industry. Technology and cable companies are nominated for a range of daring technical feats like “Secure Accelerated File Movement over IP” and “Development of Low Latency Video Streaming Live Captioning Systems.” It’s super sexy.
They’re granted to techies, “for engineering developments so significant an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television.” Some might snort at the idea of Twitter transforming the nature of television (I’m looking at you, Tom Krazit), given that it hasn’t quite reached the scale of the common TV viewer.
But as Twitter’s CES panel showed, that hasn’t stopped Hollywood studios and agencies from mining the application for consumer insights. For example, the producers of upcoming hacker movie Blackhat shifted their marketing strategy after seeing Twitter conversations about the Sony hack. Xbox TV uses what’s trending on Twitter to recommend current live shows to people.
The categories of the engineering Emmy Awards change every year, depending on the technologies pioneered by companies in the past. Previous well known Silicon Valley winners range from Netflix (for its personalization technology) to Apple (for its mobile television ecosystem).