One of the things I like to do, and that is also part of my job as a video game writer, is to keep social media under close observation. Who knows what interesting piece of news can pop up in the cacophony created by the thoughts thrown at the internet by millions of gaming fans and professionals.
Normally, the ratio of tweets between PS4 and Xbox One is quite solidly in favor of Sony’s new console, with about 40,000 tweets a day naming the PS4 and 30,000 on the Xbox One. The number varies a bit up and down and has risen lately for both platforms, but the ratio remains more or less the same.
Yet today something happened: a few hours ago I literally saw the Xbox One camp explode. I immediately wondered if Microsoft announced some surprise exclusive, or a killer feature like backwards compatibility. Turns out that wasn’t the case, and the “culprit” behind the sudden surge of Xbox related tweets was something, or someone, a lot more mundane (at least for what gaming is concerned). You can see it below.
Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović declared himself Xbox One’s “ambassador” for France. The tweet by the Paris Saint-Germain striker was retweeted by 4,168 people in just a couple hours, without even counting all those that tweeted about it on their own.
Below you can see a graph for both the #PS4 and the #XboxOne hashtags for the last 24 hours. See that enormous spike on Microsoft’s side? That’s Zlatan’s doing.
This is actually interesting, considering that lately we saw some infographics trying to predict the result of the console war using social media as a meter. A single tweet by a single big celebrity can have a rather large impact on the result.
It also begs the question on what we’re going to see in the next few days. Is Ibrahimović the only “one” (he has #TheOne embroidered on the breast of the jacket he’s wearing in the picture above)? or maybe Microsoft is ready to unleash a small army of big hitting, country-specific testimonials to tip the social media scale in its favor?
Of course we have no way to know until it happens, but they sure have the means to do so, if they think it’ll help.