Is Twilight THE Social Media Phenomenon?

The enormous success of the Twilight saga – both as books and movies – may be one of the triumphs of the Social Media decade. There is no doubt the public have loved and supported the storylines and themes of author Stephenie Meyer.

The previous grouping of “the public” has now become crafted and marketed, so demographics and “points of entry” are very technical and focussed. The communication channels in the 21st Century are not really “the media” any more – television, radio, the press and parts of the web. All of these are now advertising vehicles (wrapped around some content).

The impact of Twilight is best seen in how the public have led and out-run the business sectors. The books and then the movies became best-sellers because of the way social communication has been assisted by technology.

    Twilight as a Social Media phenomenon

    Twilight as a Social Media phenomenon

First was the primary source and “old” way of passing on recommendations:

  • word of mouth

Then along came another way for the public to chat and recommend, which was totally unforeseen by the technologists and marketeers:

  • text messages

It is easy to suggest that texting, the process of passing on some information – especially “what I’m doing now” – helped or even demanded the next developments of Social Media:

  • blogs
  • tweets

The enormous importance of these 4 chat mechanisms can be seen in the viral and trending promotion of the Twilight saga. It was possible for everyone with an interest in the books or the theme to stay up-to-date – whatever that level of interest:

  • book release dates
  • author’s blog
  • movie rights acquired
  • casting of the actors
  • shooting schedules of the movies
  • official book and movie press releases
  • unofficial book and movie information

The books have a very strong theme which we could almost call Bella’s Torment and this is central to much of the emotional appeal of the storylines. Bella is just as unique as Edward or Jacob, albeit not as physically strong (until the last chapters).

Bella’s Torment is a powerful and well-developed aspect in the books, the sociological and psychological ramifications perhaps more important than the emotional ones. This is where the books and movies differ the most. The movies, perhaps geared more towards a teen audience, have chosen to glide softly over the deeper issues.

That difference does not matter really as you can now read, hear, view and discuss – via blogs, YouTube and hundreds of other online sites – every aspect of the Twilight saga. So if you want to know more about a character, a sub-plot or even the author’s new projects, everything is available online.

The media? Plural? Not any more. There is now the one, the only – the web! There can be only one …