Micro-blogging site Twitter is setting up an age-verification system to screen users before they follow alcohol brands. The development highlights the responsible side of social media even if this step in particular is also to cater to brands.
“One of the biggest challenges for alcohol brands is how they connect with an age-appropriate audience. Our hope is that this approach to age-screening will enable alcohol brands to responsibly and safely connect with the right audience on Twitter,” Twitter said in its official blog.
Partnering with brands: A win-win
This screening system offers a more responsible platform for alcohol brands to connect with their target consumers. Despite criticisms and limitations to exercise age regulation in engaging audiences, alcohol brands have often attempted to connect with only those users who are in the right age category. It appears that they are now also partnering with platforms that allow them to follow this in more effective ways. Twitter being one such example at present.
The front runners to incorporate the new system are Jim Beam, Heineken, Bacardi, Bud Light and Knob Creek. Bud Light is using age-screened promoted accounts to reach out to people who are above 21 and interested in the US National Football League (NFL) with the #whatsyoursuperstition campaign, while Knob Creek is using it to launch a small batch bourbon brand on Twitter.
The microblogging site further stated that this integration was easy to set up and that major brands in this segment can now be seen as responsible corporate citizens. Looking at the positive implications of the age-verification step, it can be assumed that other alcohol brands will soon follow suit.
Small step towards responsibility
The idea towards its execution is similar as the one adopted by official websites of alcoholic beverage brands, which prompt users to enter their birth date before allowing further navigation on the site. Social media has been termed as an enabler and a voicing platform, but has also largely been criticised for not taking accountability of comments, conversations and allied activities in the user-generated universe. Although, this move by Twitter is not a fool-proof method of determining the authenticity of the information, but it can be seen as a way forward for social media to embrace higher responsibility. Other social platforms are yet to embrace such steps.