NDTV Convergence is opening up its social media engagement tool Graphity that was made for in-house use to other companies. The platform was used by actor Rajinikanth when he finally joined Twitter yesterday. “NDTV Convergence is not a technology company, but our technology gets better when we work with others. When Graphity is used by other people, we get insights which helps us improve the product and that is the reason it was opened up to third-parties,” Kawaljit Bedi, CTO of NDTV Convergence and Senior Vice President for Strategy at NDTV says.
NDTV had created the tool and used it for the channel’s #ProudToBeIndian campaign organised around Republic Day earlier this year, according to Bedi. “Twitter saw this and contacted us to find out if we could open it up to others,” he says.
Salman Khan had used the platform for promoting his movie Jai Ho and sent autographed posters to his fans tweeting about the movie. This seems to be very similar to the Digigraph service used by BCCI for #ThankYouSachin campaign last year.
The advantage of Graphity is that, it can be used for multiple purposes and not just for sending out autographed posters. “The tool was used for a campaign by Star Vijay for a reality show. The channel was urging viewers to vote for contestants through Twitter and Graphity was used for this. It can also be used for location-based information. For example, when NH7 is happening and you’re lost on the way to the festival in Noida, you can tweet NH7 account asking for directions. This account will be able to send you the Google Maps link to the venue automatically using Graphity,” Bedi says.
Bedi also said that the people running the campaign can adjust factors such as rate of tweets using Graphity.
Update: As pointed out by the comment below, BJP also seems to be using the service.
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 11, 2014
Twitter the connector: Graphity would have remained an in-house tool if not for Twitter, which connected several companies looking to run campaigns on the social media platform to NDTV. Apart from celebrities and TV channels, the tool was also used by Hero Motors for a campaign of theirs. The Graphity website itself has no information listed about the service or all these capabilities.
“We know people at CA Media (the group handling social media accounts for celebrities like Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan). So depending on the campaign, they talk to us or Twitter and then work with them on it,” Bedi says.
Monetization: Bedi says that they have not actively tried to monetize the platform yet. “The simple answer is that we didn’t build it for the market. There are times we have done it for relationship with a company. We did charge money from Hero for its campaign,” Bedi says. He refused to disclose how much NDTV charges or on what basis companies are charged for using Graphity.