As Twitter announced earlier this week, it has rolled out a brand new hashtag landing page experience — called Twitter Events — alongside the Pocono 400 NASCAR race today. The new page, located at twitter.com/hashtag/nascar, brings a new meaning to hashtags. Anyone who's watched TV recently will have noticed that more and more networks are promoting their shows with hashtags, but Twitter's partnership with NASCAR shows that these pages will soon be far more useful to advertisers and corporations. The first thing you'll notice when you visit the page is that it's branded like a profile page and has a row of relevant tweeted photos, but there's a more significant change under the surface. Tweets that appear in this stream aren't part of a firehose with every single tweet from all users that mention #nascar — it's a selection of tweets from racers, teams, and others involved with the race, regardless of whether or not they use the hashtag. According to Twitter, "a combination of algorithms and curation... surface the most interesting Tweets."
To promote the new page, Twitter has also introduced its very first television advertisements. One ran during the race itself (see below), but there is an entire campaign of NASCAR-centric ads. They all present Twitter as a service that provides another perspective on events and completes the experience. The 15-second spots are incredibly bare, with a short clip of a racecar driver or celebrity tweeting from the middle of the action that then fades to black to promote twitter.com/#NASCAR — a URL that will forward you to the new Twitter Events page. The idea is that you'll keep Twitter open and monitor it throughout the race to get more than what the announcers, TV cameras, or media reports can give you. It's nothing new to experienced users, but the new focus is designed to make the service appeal to those who've never understood Twitter. The company even makes a point to say that anyone — whether or not they have an account — can follow along at the new hashtag page and get updates as they come in. It's not clear what deals led to NASCAR's partnership and this exclusive page, but if Twitter offers these curated streams to other companies for a price, it may have a very solid revenue stream apart from promoted tweets.
Note: You can see all of Twitter's new NASCAR TV spots at the company's YouTube feed.