Topshop's front row at London Fashion Week.
Twitter may be the hottest kid on Wall Street with its upcoming IPO (initial public offering), but at London Fashion Week, the social media app was so last season.
Fashion giant Topshop partnered with new and relatively unknown app Chirp to interact with fans and consumers during its Spring/Summer 2014 catwalk show.
The app lets devices connect using short soundbites, which sound a little like digital birdsong or "chirping". All types of content – from photos, to notes, to weblinks – can be sent from device-to-device within seconds, using the sound.
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You can hear it everywhere, the sound," said Topshop Global Marketing Director Sheena Sauvaire, referring to the brand's 'Digital Garden', where chirps were regularly sent out as attendees arrived at the show.
"It's about sending data and content via sound. We felt this was quite innovative compared to Twitter, where it has to be a two-way conversation. You can really engage with the app when you want to. When people open the app, they can be sent content via chirp and there are specific places to interact with it."
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But why did Topshop decide to go with Chirp, as opposed to the more traditional methods of Twitter and Facebook?
"Topshop for a long time has been about supporting up-and-coming creative talent," said Suvaire. "We wanted to extend that to the tech space as well."
So could Chirp be the new Twitter? "Potentially, it could be." said Sauvaire. "Who would have thought in 2006 that [Twitter] would be the big brand that it is now."
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First published September 16 2013, 7:27 AM