Kirstine Stewart on plans for Twitter Canada

The former CBC EVP English services on plans for a local Twitter arm as she takes the reins as managing director of Twitter Canada.
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Kirstine Stewart says the time is right for a Canadian stamp on the Twitter map.

The newly named managing director – and first hire – of Twitter Canada says the launch is a natural step.

“It’s a very voraciously used platform, I would say, in Canada throughout the last year, and we can make that next step for Twitter to step up and truly be partners with broadcasters, content distributors, with so many different forms of opportunities,” says the former CBC EVP English Services, who herself has in the last year been a regular and active presence on Twitter.

The San Francisco-based real-time social platform has opened locations in other countries, including Brazil earlier this year and Japan in 2008, and Canada was a logical choice as a nation full of Twitter users.

While Stewart notes it’s early days, she says Canadians can expect to see content partnerships similar to those that have been rolling out in the United States.

Some recent examples of those partnerships include Twitter pacting with Comedy Central for an online comedy festival, and a content-sharing agreement with BBC America to offer in-Tweet branded video synced to scripted TV series.

“The second screen has become such an important additive to user experience,” Stewart adds.

She argues that Twitter often enriches the viewer experience with, for example, opportunities to launch a platform-agnostic conversation around what people are watching on TV, what they’re listening to, and what they’re interested in.

“It really is an opportunity to have a worldwide town hall on several different topics,” she says.

As yet, Twitter Canada doesn’t have a headquarters, though Stewart says the office will be in Toronto and that some hiring and expansion will happen over the summer. A launch is planned in the next few weeks.

She adds that the more immediate future will see opportunities for account manager-type positions before filling out the various departments for the non-traditional media space.

“Any opportunity that you can have to grow, to give value and to bring conversation around things that are happening in Canada – I think this is an opportunity to really showcase the best of what happens across the country in so many different ways,” says Stewart.

From Playback Daily