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Twitter Targets Video-Game World with Hire From YouTube

Twitter is focusing more on bringing gamers  to the popular social media platform, with an effort led by an executive lured over from YouTube.

Rodrigo Velloso, who was previously at Google working as the director of gaming content for YouTube, joined the Twitter team in September as director of gaming partnerships, the company confirmed. With his help, Twitter plans to forge relationships with everyone in the gaming community, from developers and creators to event coordinators for conventions like E3 and PAX, and down to individuals like eSports athletes and YouTube and Twitch streamers to create content for users.

“My entire career at Google revolved around content partnerships,” Velloso told Variety. “I want to work with content creators and give them the tools, or in some cases build them the tools, to allow them to produce the best content.”

One of the most recent partnerships Twitter struck up was with the Game Awards earlier this month. Velloso and the company made sure the event had the tools and counsel to represent the night on social media. This included video-clipping support, through Twitter video and SnappyTV, promoting the event with tweets, and using a tool called Twitter Mirror, which tweeted selfies and GIFs from the red carpet in real time.

It was only a matter of time before Twitter decided to create a vertical specifically for gaming. The community is one of the fastest-growing, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide play video games. The game industry is projected to make $92 billion in 2015, a number that is larger than film and recorded music combined.

On top of that, according to a 2014 study by Lifecourse and commissioned by Twitch, not only are gamers more social than non-gamers but 82 percent of gamers use their smartphones for social media compared to only 58 percent of non-gamers.

Velloso will be reporting to Kirstine Stewart, head of North American media at Twitter.

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