Having made its first acquisition in the country, micro blogging website Twitter plans a research and design centre here, its first such facility outside America.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the move is a part of the company's wider plans of accelerating its growth in emerging markets.
Earlier this month, San Francisco-based Twitter had announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based mobile start-up ZipDial, in a deal understood to be around $40 million. According to Twitter, most of ZipDial's 50 employees are joining it. It seems likely to base its new facility on ZipDial’s existing engineering centre, which has close to 30 staffers.
“We have inherited a new engineering centre in Bengaluru but it is too early to say if we would be expanding it,” a Twitter India spokesperson told Business Standard.
Financial Times quoted Rishi Jaitly, its India head, as saying the ZipDial deal underlined its focus on developing markets. “It does constitute a big vote of confidence from Twitter at the global level in India,” he reportedly said. “It is a big investment in India and emerging markets, and an engineering centre is a big outcome [of the deal].”
Valerie Wagoner, founder of ZipDial, who joined Twitter after the company's acquisition, told Financial Times, “We will be the starting point for a much larger R&D centre [in Bangalore] in future.”
Having a centre in India would help Twitter localise services for the users in one of its fastest-growing markets, an objective several social networking websites have been looking to achieve.
In November 2014, professional networking website LinkedIn had said in view of India being a key market, it was looking to bring out features specifically for users in the country. For this, it said, it was expanding its product development team in India.
Twitter has been working to penetrate other markets, too. In December 2014, it had said it would soon set up an office in Hong Kong to serve Chinese users and advertisers. The move was seen as aimed at tapping the world’s largest internet population, even as the censors in mainland China have shut out the American company from there since 2009.
Having a centre in India would help Twitter localise its services for users in one of its fastest-growing markets
- Several social networking websites have been looking to achieve this objective