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'Non-English tweets are now 50% of the total’: Twitter India MD

Twitter is seeing its fastest revenue growth in India in five years as the social networking platform doubles down on localising product and adding regional language content while continuing to maintain premium advertisement pricing amid stiff competition.

Nov 11, 2019, 07.42 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Twitter is seeing its fastest revenue growth in India in five years as the social networking platform doubles down on localising product and adding regional language content while continuing to maintain premium advertisement pricing amid stiff competition, its top country executive told ET.

“Twitter is growing tremendously fast in India. One is audience, India is among the fastest growth markets for the company. Globally, Twitter is growing because of the growth we are witnessing in India,” Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari said. “Our pricing is almost premium and we work with all premium brands.”

Maheshwari, who joined Twitter in April, is confident of maintaining premium rates in this competitive market due to their ‘unique’ positioning. Twitter competes for ad dollars not only with incumbents Facebook and YouTube but newer platforms such as TikTok and ShareChat.

“In fact, advertising revenue is growing faster than user growth. Many new brands are coming and many existing brands are moving money from print to digital. People are spending more money, more consumerism is happening,” Maheshwari said. India’s user growth is also the fastest in the world as millions of Indians use the internet, mobile phones and social media platforms for the first-time every month. Maheshwari said video category in India has seen tremendous growth and half of its revenue comes from that segment.

He, however, pointed out that unlike other new short-video platforms, videos on Twitter spur conversations. “Why do advertisers want to work with us?

We have the most influential audience, shaping public opinion and mindset. If you are launching something in India, Twitter is the best platform,” he said. Twitter has been localising its product in India this year. It added a preferred language option on the platform which helps algorithms surface content in that language to the user. “We felt solving for language in India is going to be very important. Already, non-English tweets are 50% of overall tweets. We have witnessed this in the last 6-8 months because of the changes we have made to the product,” Maheshwari said.

Half of the tweets in the platform are in English, and the other half are in non-English, i.e. Indian languages, with Hindi leading, followed by Tamil. Twitter is working with 70 media partners to onboard regional and local content on platform.

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