Soap Operas or Telenovalas are one of the most-recognized formats in Latin American television. These stories full of passion and feeling have crossed borders and are currently one of the region’s most successful export products. For example, different Chilean productions have been broadcast in countries as diverse as Spain and Russia. But a group of Chileans has managed to take this format to another level by developing the first Twitter soap opera in the world.
La Cota Mil is a project that the Chilean company Noise Media launched on the popular microblogging site on 7 April. “We had been considering the idea of developing our own project related to the use of social networks in a different or revolutionary way for some time,” explains Rossana Santoni, the company’s chief of projects.
So they chose to do a telenovela, but using a channel that had not yet been exploited by artistic productions. “We based ourselves on a platform like Twitter, which allows this sort of experiment and is flexible enough to push the limits of the format and connect it with content generation and a soap opera script,” Santoni says. Twitter currently has 105 million registered users across the world and 300,000 new ones join every day, which reflects its tremendous communications potential.
But how does the first Soap Opera 2.0 work? A new episode is presented every day from Monday to Friday, in which the characters interact via their Twitter accounts. To follow all the action, users of the site just have to look for the hashtag “#cotam,” which posts all of the messages in the series.
The plot of La Cota Mil revolves around five former high school classmates who get together again after several years. “Love, hatred, friendship, envy and resentment are the feelings that move
them and which will lead them to experience what they had left aside for so long,” the soap opera’s website explains.
Rossana Santoni affirms that so far Twitter has mainly been used for personal purposes and by companies seeking a marketing platform. “Individuals and brands use the most basic applications and do not dare to experiment, or else it does not occur to them. A lot of brands are on Facebook just to say that they are there, but they not engage in follow-up or add new features to the platform,” the entrepreneur says.
The account @lacotamil already has almost 1,000 users following it every day, commenting their reactions on the same website. “Twitter and Facebook are two Internet giants hat have a lot of potential. You just have to have ideas and develop them. You also have to understand the logic of these websites and play with the formats,” Sanoni affirms.
The company also anticipates other projects, all of which share the common trait of using the Internet and social networks as inclusive platforms.